Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral sedation involves the usage of anywhere from a single medicine to a combination of medicines to help sedate your child. Some children have complex dental treatment needs and may need to be sedated to allow for the work to safely and effectively be completed. The usage of sedation is not for all patients and the dentist needs to be informed of any and all medical conditions (both past and present) that the child may have so they can be scheduled properly. Please inform the dentist of all medicines that the child currently takes or has been prescribed by their physician.
How To Prepare For Your Child’s Appointment
No eating or drinking before appointment: To help absorption of the drugs and reduce nausea and vomiting, your child can not have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the appointment. If they do eat or drink, your child cannot be sedated.
What to wear: It’s best to dress your child in comfortable clothes such has pajamas, sweat suit, or play clothes. Parents should bring their child a change of clothing including undergarments.
Morning appointments: Children requiring sedation must have their appointment in the morning after your child has had a restful sleep.
Arrival at our office: Please be on time or early, we cannot accommodate late arrivals because of the time required for the medication to work. Sedative drugs are administered orally (by mouth) in the office and require approximately one hour to be effective. Your child should be encouraged to go to the bathroom at home or in the office before treatment.
What To Expect At Your Child’s Sedation Appointment
A pediatric dentist will review your child’s medical history with you. On the day of the sedation appointment, we will ask many questions about your child’s current health. We will listen to the child’s heart and lungs to ensure they are clear and check their throat and tonsils to make sure they have a good airway.
Your child will drink sedative medication before we begin treatment. Based upon the child’s dental needs and behavior we will give them a specific combination of medicine to drink. This medicine can take from 15 minutes, up to 40 minutes to start causing sedative effects on the child. The time will vary depending on the specific type of medicine in which your child was given.
Your child will sit with you in a special waiting area until the proper amount of time has passed. We will ask you to assist your child to the restroom prior to going back with the pediatric dentist for their dental work. Most all children will become more sedate and clam as the medicine starts to work, but a small amount will become more active. We ask you sit with the child quietly so they do not hurt themselves or any other patients around them.
Nitrous oxide will be necessary for some patients. Once the child is taken to get their dental work done we will add nitrous oxide, if needed, to help assist in the sedation. The patient will be monitored at all times by the pediatric dentist and with other monitoring equipment. The child’s procedure may be as short as 15 minutes or last over an hour, depending on the patient’s cooperation and dental needs. Radiographs can be taken easily during the sedation procedure if they were not possible prior to the appointment.
The goal of sedation is to not have the patient completely asleep during the procedure, but in a state of consciousness that is lessened and allows for the patient to follow simple instructions as needed. In rare cases, some patients will not sedate well and other treatment options are available. They may include IV sedation or General Anesthesia in a hospital setting.
Papoose Blankets: With some patients we use papoose blankets, which are commonly used in hospitals for short procedures. Papoose blankets help ease anxiety by making our patients feel safe, secure, warm and comfortable. The blanket is for your child’s protection so he or she will not hurt themselves during treatment.
If you have questions about your child’s oral conscious sedation appointment, feel free to contact our Cherry Hill office at (856) 281-7600 and we’d be happy to assist! We look forward to seeing you.
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