Pediatric Oral Sedation
At Kids Plus Pediatric Dentistry, oral sedation is a method used to ease your child’s anxiety and discomfort during their dental visit. Different from general anesthesia which is an option with more severe cases of anxiety, your child will be conscious and able to communicate during their visit with dental oral sedation. As a resource, we've answered a number of frequent questions regarding conscious sedation for parents and guardians. Should you have any questions for your child or infant's visit to Kids Plus, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Q&A on Conscious Sedation
Q: What is conscious sedation? A: Conscious sedation is a management technique that uses medications to assist the child to cope with fear and anxiety and cooperate with dental treatment. Medications and dosages should be selected that are unlikely to cause loss of consciousness in the patient.
Q: Who should be sedated? A: Children who have a level of anxiety that prevents good coping skills or are very young and do not understand how to cope in a cooperative fashion for the delivery of dental care should be sedated. Conscious sedation is often helpful for some children who have special needs.
Q: Why utilize conscious sedation? A: Conscious sedations aids in allowing a child to cope better with dental treatment. This can help prevent injury to the child from patient movement and promote a better environment for providing dental care.
Q: What medications are used? A: Many different medications can be used for conscious sedation. Your pediatric dentist will discuss different options for your child.
Q: Is sedation safe? A: Sedation is safe when administered by a trained pediatric dentist who follows the sedation guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Your pediatric dentist will discuss sedation options and patient monitoring for the protection of your child.
Q: What special instructions should I follow before the sedation appointment? A: In order to alleviate potential anxiety in your child, your pediatric dentist may recommend minimal discussion of the dental appointment with your child. Should your child become ill, contact your pediatric dentist to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment. It is very important to follow the directions of your pediatric dentist regarding fasting from fluids and food prior to the sedation appointment.
Q: What special instructions should I follow after the sedation appointment? A: Your pediatric dentist will not discharge your child until the child is alert and ready to go. Children who have been sedated are usually requested to remain at home for the rest of the day with adult supervision.
Questions: If you have any questions concerning the care of your child after you arrive home, please give us a call.
- You must tell the doctor of any drug reactions, medical history, or illness and hospitalizations your child has had, including colds within the last seven (7) days.
- You must not give your child anything to eat or drink after midnight (12:00AM). No juice, fruit, breakfast, or water, etc.
- You must not give your child any medication unless expressly instructed to do so by the doctor, after midnight (12:00AM).
- The child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for all appointments.
- Your child should wear loose fitting clothing, particularly at the neck and sleeves.
- Your must remove all nail polish from your child’s fingernails.
- The child may remain sleepy for a time. Do not be alarmed, as the drugs must “wear off”. Your child may be irritable as this occurs.
- Do not allow the child to bite his/her lips, tongue, or cheek if a local anesthetic has been used. No eating until “numbness” wears off.
- After dental care, your child should be under adult supervision and not be allowed to play near streets, stairways, and other areas where he/she may be injured by falling.
If you have any questions regarding the pre-operative instructions, please contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Foods/Liquids: Encourage your child to have something to drink. Clear liquids like apple juice or Kool-Aid are encouraged. Your child is behind in his/her fluid intake and these products will restore those fluids. Feed your child after they have had a sufficient amount to drink or when they ask for food.
Sleep: Make them a soft area on the floor, watch a movie, or take a nap. The best activity is sleep. This serves two purposes: it allows the effects of the medication and numbness to wear off. Do not allow your child to sleep for more than 1 ½ hours at a time. Periodically wake them up to give them more fluids.
Caution: Any activity attempted by your child over the next four hours requires your physical assistance; sitting, standing, walking, etc.
Activity: Following the first four hours after you get them home, normal indoor activities of the child can resume under casual observation. Do not permit your child to play unsupervised indoors or outdoors until tomorrow.
Your child should be accompanied by a parent or guardian to each appointment.
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