According to American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, sedation is recommended for your child’s safety and comfort during dental procedures. Sedation can help increase cooperation and reduce anxiety and/or discomfort associated with dental treatment. Sedative medication is selected based upon your child’s overall health, level of anxiety, and the dental treatment recommendations. Conscious sedation does not make the patient unconscious or unresponsive.
Once the medications have been administered, it may take up to 45 minutes to one hour before your child shows signs of sedation and is ready for dental treatment. Some children may not experience relaxation but an opposite reaction such as agitation or crying. These are also common responses to the medicines and may prevent us from completing the dental procedures. In any case, our doctor and staff will observe your child’s response to the medication and provide assistance as needed.
For your child’s Safety, you must follow the instructions below.
Prior to your child’s sedation appointment.
- Please notify our office of any change in your child's health and/or medical condition. Fever, ear infection, nasal or chest congestion, or recent head trauma could place your child at increased risk for complications. Should your child become ill just prior to a sedation appointment, contact our office to see if it is necessary to post pone the sedation.
- Tell us about any prescribed, over - the - counter, or herbal medications your child is taking. Check with us to see if routine medications should be taken the day of the sedation. Also, report any allergies or reactions to medications that your child has experienced.
- Your child should not eat or drink after midnight. Your child should arrive empty stomach to the appointment. Your child should not have solid food at least 8 hours prior to their sedation appointment and only clear liquids for up to 6 hours before appointment. Fasting decreases the risk of vomiting and aspirating stomach contents into the lungs, a potentially life-threatening problem. We will not proceed with the sedation if your child does not comply with fasting restrictions.
- Dress your child in loose fitting comfortable clothing. This will allow us to place monitors that evaluate your child's response to the medication and help ensure your child's safety. These monitors may measure effects on your child's breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.
- Try not to bring other children to this appointment so you can focus your attention on your child undergoing the sedation.
During the Sedation appointment:
- Please make sure that your child goes to the bathroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
- If any sedative medications are administered before your child is taken tot he treatment room, we will ask you to watch your child closely as he/she may become sleepy, dizzy, unsteady, uncoordinated, or irritable. You will need to remain next to your child to prevent injuries that may occur from stumbling and falling. Do not let them "run around."
- The child's parent / legal guardian must remain at the office throughout the sedation appointment. You may not leave the office for any reason.
- The doctor and staff will evaluate your child's health status before he / she will be discharged home. Every child recovers from effects of sedatives at different rates so be prepared to remain at our office until the doctor has determined your child is stable and after - effect are minimal.
- At discharge, your child should be responsive but may be drowsy, crying or fussy.
After the Sedation appointment:
- Once home, your child will still be drowsy and must remain under adult supervision until fully recovered from the effects of the sedation. If your child wants to sleep, position your child on his / her side with the head supported and the chin up. During this period, check your child's breathing and airway. If your child is snoring, reposition the head until the snoring disappears and your child breathes normally. If breathing becomes abnormal or you are unable to arouse the child, contact emergency services 911 and call us immediately.
- Nausea and vomiting are occasional side effects of sedation.
- Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink. You may give him / her sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea and dehydration. Small drinks taken repeatedly are preferable to large amount. The first meal should be something light and easily digestible (i.e. soup, Jell - O, apple sauce). Do not give fatty or spicy foods (i.e. French Fries, Pizza, Milk, Cheese, Yogurt)
- Children may be irritable after treatment. If this occurs, stay with your child and provide a calm environment. If you believe the irritability is caused by discomfort, you may give child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). Follow the instructions on the bottle for dosing based upon your child's age/ weight.
- A slight fever (temperature to 100.5 F) is not uncommon after sedation. You may give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). Follow the instructions on the bottle for dosing based upon your child's age/ weight.
- Because dehydration may cause a slight increase in temperature, clear fluids may correct this condition. If a higher fever develops or the fever persists, call our office.
- In addition to the sedative medications, we often use local anesthetic to numb the mouth during dental treatment. The numbness usually lasts 2 - 4 hours. Watch to see that your child does not bite, scratch, or injure the cheek, lips or tongue during this time.
- If your child had teeth removed, there might be some minor bleeding at the extraction sites. Place a firm pressure with the gauze for 30 minutes to stop the bleeding. Do not use straws or spit because this may dislodge the blood clot and infect the area.
- If your child had stainless steel crowns or space maintainers placed, the surrounding gums of these teeth may be irritated and sore. This sensitivity usually only lasts for 24 hours. Avoid sticky candies and bubble gums because they may dislodge the crowns or space maintainers.
- If your child had white crowns or white fillings placed, they may initially feel sensitivity to cold at those teeth and this discomfort gradually disappears. Avoid sticky candies and bubble gums because they may dislodge the fillings or crowns.
Please feel free to call our office at 708 579 5437 for any questions or concerns that you might have.