Scared To Death

Dental Health Colorado understands major fear of the dentist

If you feel that your fear is stronger than what is described in our Scardy Cat section, you might fit better into our Scared to Death category. For patients with this level of fear, we offer oral sedation dentistry.

Oral sedation dentistry is a very good solution for patients with this level of dental fear and anxiety. Instead of avoiding the dentist, call us at Dental Health and we will explain how we can use oral sedation dentistry to make your experience easy and painless.


Some signs and symptoms of moderate dental fear and anxiety are:

  • High degree of dental fear that is difficult to control.
  • Tendency to avoid  dental care, particularly routine dental care.
  • Difficulty sleeping the night before your dental appointment.
  • Intense restlessness, irritability, jumpy and heightened sense of danger.
  • Physical symptoms may include palpitations, nausea, dizziness, stomach ache, sweating, increase heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Chronic frequency of missing dental appointment and last minute cancellations.

Tell us about your fears when you call. Both on the call and at your first visit, our dentists and staff are trained to help you. They have been trained to assess the degree and specific sources of dental fear of anxiety.

It is always acceptable to schedule an initial consultation without a full exam and workup. When you call us for the appointment, explain that you are not ready to book a full exam. This initial appointment will allow you to develop comfort and rapport with our dentist and staff.

Some of the treatment options that we might suggest include:

Pre-appointment Sedatives
 – We prescribe a pill for you to take about an hour before your treatment visit, which will make you sleepy, but not unconscious. While you’ll still be able to respond to your dentist’s requests, you likely won’t remember the entire experience. The sedative effects can last for up to four hours. We can also give you medication to take the night before your treatment to help you sleep.

The most commonly used oral conscious sedation medications are Halcion, Ativan, or Valium, all of which generally have a low incidence of side effects.

In-office Sedatives – Once again, you most likely will forget most or all of the visit. The oral sedative is an anxiolytic drug, which induces a state of consciousness where you are awake but have decreased anxiety with little or no memory of the treatment.

Because the sedation makes you lightheaded, you will need to have someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

Comfort of Someone Close to You – We recommend that a friend or family member be present during the initial consult for any type of sedation. The presence of a loved one usually provides a sense of comfort and security.

Call Dental Health today to learn more about oral sedation dentistry.