Preparing for Sedation

Dentists find that when sedation is used their patients are more cooperative, feel less anxious, and experience less discomfort during their dental treatment. If your dentist has recommended sedation for your child’s upcoming dental procedure, there are a few things you will need to do to prepare for the appointment.

The following will discuss some of the preparations you may need to do prior to your child’s appointment.

Notify the Dental Office of Any Changes in Health or Medicine

A lot can change between the time you schedule your child’s appointment and the day of the actual appointment. Your child could become ill, have a change in medicine, or become injured. These things could cause you to have to postpone your child’s dental appointment.

Notify your dentist office if your child experiences any of the following things:

  • Develops a fever
  • Suffers from an ear infection
  • Develops nasal or chest congestion
  • Head trauma
  • Starts taking any new medicines (prescribed or over-the-counter) or herbal supplements
  • Develops any new allergies

Once your dentist is notified of these changes, you may be told to reschedule the appointment or given certain instructions, such as not taking a specific medicine on the day of the appointment.

Learn about Food Restrictions Before Sedation

In the hours before your child’s appointment, you will be instructed to limit the types of food and drink they consume. Food and drink restrictions are recommended with sedation because it helps reduce the likelihood that your child will experience any vomiting or nausea after their appointment.

The type of food and drink restrictions that are in place will vary depending upon what type of food your child eats. The following is an example of some of the restrictions your child will have on food and drink:

  • Solid food (especially fried and fatty foods) – stop 8 hours prior to appointment
  • Formulas, milk, and light food – stop 6 hours prior to appointment
  • Breast milk – stop 4 hours prior to appointment
  • Clear liquids that include juices, water, and tea – stop 2 hours before appointment

To make it easier on parents, most dentists will just tell you to stop all food and drink six to twelve hours before the appointment. This makes it easier to remember and reduces your stress as you prepare for this appointment.

Create Your Child’s Outfit for the Day of the Appointment Ahead of Time

To make your child’s appointment easier for them and the dental staff, it is recommended that your child wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Wearing this type of clothing allows the dentist to place monitoring equipment on your child that will monitor their breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Some recommendations for loose-fitting clothing include:

  • Comfortable pajamas
  • Sweatpants
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts

Make Arrangements to Have a Babysitter for Other Children

While your child’s siblings are always welcome in the waiting room, if your child has an appointment that requires sedation it may be best to leave their siblings at home. This allows you to solely focus on your child who is being sedated and not experience any distractions before, during, or after the appointment.

Arrange to Have Another Adult with You for the Drive Home

Your child will not be sent home after their sedation appointment until they are fully ready. However, problems can still occur in the hours after the appointment, which is why it is important to arrange to have another adult with you on the drive home.

Driving with another adult in the car allows one individual to drive and another to monitor your child. The individual monitoring your child can watch for any changes in your child’s behavior or breathing.

Reduce Your Stress by Asking any Questions You May Have

Parents worry about their child, especially when they are having a dental appointment that requires sedation. To help reduce your stress, feel free to ask the dentist or the office staff any questions you may have about the procedure or the preparation. Feeling properly informed will help you focus more on your child as you aren’t stressing out about the appointment.

The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida offers sedation for certain types of dental treatment. Call our office today to learn more about sedation dentistry or to ask any questions you may have about this type of dental procedure.