Easing Anxiety

Cosmetic Dentist Serving Lakewood, Denver, Golden & Nearby Colorado

Denver Sleep Dentistry | Scott Greenhalgh, DDSAt Dr. Greenhalgh’s office, we care for more than just your teeth and gums. If you tend to feel anxious when you visit a dentist, please know that we understand that and have over 20 years of success helping people feel comfortable in our dental office.

Dr. Greenhalgh will listen to your concerns and spend time with you to understand what has made you anxious. Then he will take steps to help you feel calm and confident.

There may be solid reasons for your fear, such as:

  • A previous bad experience
  • Extra sensitive teeth
  • A strong gag reflex
  • A great deal of dental work needing to be done
  • A previous practitioner who never really listened to you

Too many people have had bad experiences with dentistry, from noisy drills to uncomfortable chairs and the feeling that they were on an assembly line.

We have found that your worries or fears are not abnormal. Many people have fear that keeps them away from dental care. We will listen to your concerns and we’ll create options to care for you comfortably and to take care of your dental needs without additional worries.

Many decide to be asleep for their treatment. You can safely sleep through your appointment and have all of your dental work done in just a few visits. We have found time and again that our process of listening to you and ensuring your comfort will make any future visit easier. It’s not uncommon to hear in our office: “It doesn’t bother me anymore to come to the dentist!”

Sometimes anxiety or reluctance about dentistry is based on financial worries. We have a number of financial options to help you manage your budget. We work with a financing company which offers low- and no-interest loans and easy repayment terms. Please see our financing options for more detail, or call our office in Lakewood at 303-988-9060 to speak to a friendly member of our staff.

Delaying Dental Visits Not a Good Idea

Whether you have dental insurance or not it’s never in your best interest to postpone dental visits. Besides your daily brushing and flossing, your dental health also depends on twice-a-year check-ups, examinations, and professional cleanings. Even though none of us has insurance for car tires, clothing or haircuts, we all take care of these periodic needs when the time comes, and your dental care is no different.

Plaque, that sticky film that continuously forms on our teeth, is the term for bacteria and their acidic excretions. When left too long on the teeth it hardens into tartar which cannot be removed with brushing or flossing. That is the beginning of gum disease, something you definitely want to avoid.

Two Approaches to Dental Anxiety

Sleep dentistry and conscious sedation are two different approaches to dental anxiety and we offer both. The term sleep dentistry is often used to refer to what is more accurately called sedation dentistry.

Sleep dentistry is the use of anesthesia which makes you unaware of your surroundings and leaves you with no memory of your dental procedures. It is administered through a small intravenous line by a qualified anesthesiologist, who monitors your vital signs throughout your dental work. When the work is finished, the anesthesiologist will determine when you are awake and alert enough to go home. You will need someone to drive you home.

You will feel asleep during the entire appointment. However, you are not unconscious as you would be in the hospital. If you are asked to turn your head, or close your mouth, the rest of your body is still awake enough to do this.

Most people awake and ask “are you really done? That was great!”

If you prefer, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is available. You would breathe it through a soft mask. It gives you a calm and relaxed feeling and as soon as you remove the mask, the effects wear off. That means you can drive yourself home.

  1. Sleep Dentistry: Sleep dentistry is one of the great untapped resources in dental care and gives many benefits:
    • You can sleep through your care without worrying if you will be comfortable
    • You can have more dental work done in one appointment – even all of it
    • If you have limited mouth/jaw opening, your jaw will relax more while you are asleep
    • It helps you overcome prior difficult experiences at the dentist by ensuring a great visit
    • You can stop worrying about a gag reflex
    • It will keep you comfortable if you have a physical problem (like back pain)
  2. Conscious Sedation: We also offer oral medications to reduce anxiety. They make you feel calm and unconcerned. The effects wear off rather slowly so you would need a ride home.

For more information on your comfort, please see Our Amenities. We try to make our entire office a relaxing place and our staff will treat you with the utmost respect and caring. If you do feel uncomfortable or tense, we hope you will let us know so that we can help you deal with it.

Everyone on our dental staff is experienced and kind at helping people who feel anxious. We urge you not to delay any necessary dental work, but to give us a call at 303-988-9060 today. We serve patients in Lakewood and throughout the Denver area.