Most dental procedures in children are completed using local anesthesia, however, very young, fearful or uncooperative children also require sedation. Intravenous (IV) sedation is a deep sleep that insulates your child from the stress and discomfort associated with dental procedures.
Before your visit
Depending upon your child’s health history, temperament, age and dental care needs your pediatric dentist will recommend to you the type of sedation that is best for your child. If your Pediatric dentist recommends IV sedation, our office staff will call you to discuss your child’s current medical history, give you pre-sedation information and instructions, and discuss the IV sedation procedures with you. Our staff reviews each child’s medical history to ensure that it is safe for your child to under go IV sedation. Children with special or complex medical conditions may need to have their dental procedures at the hospital under general anesthesia.
During the procedure
After your child is sedated and sleepy the CRNA will take your child to the dental treatment room and place heart and breathing monitors. A small IV will be placed and a controlled sedative infusion is started and continued throughout the dental treatment. The CRNA will be there the entire time and their sole responsibility is to monitor your child while the dentist works. Please remember, we use all the same monitoring equipment and standards we would use in the operating room when caring for your child in the dental office.
On the day of the visit
When you arrive for your child’s procedure, your child will be weighed and the CRNA will perform a brief physical exam and confirm the preoperative information with you. After all your questions are answered, sedative medications are given as an intramuscular or intravenous injection that works quickly and reliably within a few minutes. You may hold and comfort your child until the sedative takes effect. Your child may not remember the injection or the office visit. Please do not tell your child about the needle. Most children have difficulty coping with the anxiety this information provokes. In our experience, children who have been told ahead of time about the needle react more vigorously, cry longer and are more difficult to comfort.
After the procedure
At the end of the dental treatment, the IV medicine is turned off, and the IV and monitors are removed as your child begins to awaken. You can be with your child as they awaken. Our staff will monitor your child's progress and review with you the Discharge Instructions and home care. It usually takes about about 30 minutes before your child will be ready to travel home. Your child may be sleepy and dizzy for 3 to 4 hours. Children can drink and eat soft foods soon after the procedure. Nausea and vomiting are rare.
When considering a medical or dental procedure for your child, you deserve to have all of your questions answered and all of your concerns addressed prior to the procedure. Please feel free to call us to discuss your child’s procedure. Should you decide to have IV sedation dentistry for your child, all scheduling and financial arrangements are handled at your pediatric dentist’s office.