Difficulty Sitting Still? Consider Sedation Dentistry

May 02, 2024
Difficulty Sitting Still? Consider Sedation Dentistry
Whether it’s you, your child, or an aging parent who has difficulty sitting still, restlessness can negatively affect the outcome of a dental procedure. The solution is simple: Sedation dentistry calms anxiety and keeps squirmy patients relaxed.

Nobody looks forward to extensive dental procedures. Our technology has improved significantly since 14,000 years ago, when our ancestors’ “dentists” used flint knives to drill into rotten teeth and remove decay. However, despite lasers and other pain-free tools, dental anxiety persists.

Dental anxiety may make it difficult for you or a loved one to sit still through an entire dental procedure. Or, your child or loved one may have a challenge that makes sitting still difficult or impossible in any situation, never mind one that provokes anxiety.

Addie Chang, DMD, a sympathetic and expert family dentist, wants you and your family to get the oral health care you need despite fear, anxiety, or squirminess. That’s why she and our team offer a variety of sedation dentistry options at her practice in Tukwila, Washington.

Do you or a loved one have trouble sitting still? Sedation dentistry can help you stay calm and relaxed so you can get the oral care you need.

Special needs get special treatment

If your loved one has challenges that affect mood and movement, we take that into consideration when designing a treatment plan. Dr. Chang and our staff treat your loved one with warmth and patience. We have experience treating people of all ages with:

  • Intellectual impairment 
  • Developmental challenges
  • Mental health conditions
  • Physical disabilities
  • Cognitive decline
  • Behavioral problems

Your loved one receives extra care, guidance, and time when necessary.

Sedation calms and relaxes

Even if you or your loved one is generally calm, the idea of undergoing a dental procedure may make it difficult to sit still. Whether the excess movement is a chronic problem or simply related to the prospect of treatment, sedation dentistry helps.

You or your loved one may also have a strong gag reflex, which would make it difficult to insert objects into your mouth. Sensitive teeth can make even a simple procedure like teeth cleaning painful.

Please feel free to let us know about any concerns or anxieties you or a family member may have. We can help you choose the best sedation method to calm your body and mood. 

Relaxation for all needs

We offer a variety of sedation methods to suit your needs. We discuss your options before your procedure so that you feel comfortable and confident. Depending on the situation, you or a loved one may need sedation even for simple exams, X-rays, and cleaning.

Local anesthetic

If your difficulty sitting still is directly related to anxiety and fear of pain, a local anesthetic may be enough to calm restlessness. You can take oral medication beforehand to handle any fear or anxiety.

Then, Dr. Chang simply injects an anesthetic directly into the treatment site. Once your mouth is numb, you won’t feel a thing during your procedure. 

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, doesn’t require needles for administration. Instead, you or your loved one simply inhale the gas through a mask.

Not only does nitrous oxide relax your body and eliminate pain, but it also gives you a feeling of euphoria. You’re so relaxed that — even though you’re awake — you may not even remember having the procedure.

A key benefit of nitrous oxide is that it wears off quickly. If you’re the patient, you won’t need anyone else to drive you home after your treatment. We keep you in the office until you’re safe to drive. 

Conscious sedation

Conscious sedation is another option. Although you’re not fully unconscious, as you could be with anesthesia, you probably will fall asleep. 

You can choose between oral conscious sedation, which you take about an hour before your procedure or an injection. The injection gives you deeper relaxation so that you immediately fall asleep. Dr. Chang awakens you with a gentle shake after your treatment is over.

Whether you choose oral or injectable conscious sedation, you’re sleepy after you wake up. You’re not able to drive or operate equipment after this option. You must arrange beforehand to have somebody drive you home.

If you choose this option, you’ll probably fall asleep during your procedure. Your dentist can administer mild conscious sedation orally about one hour before your procedure so that it has time to work.

Are you or a loved one squeamish or squirmy when it comes to the dentist? Sedation dentistry can soothe anxiety and restlessness. Contact our sympathetic team by phone or online form today.