Specialized care for our most special patients
Oral Sedation dentistry provides safe, comfortable dental treatment for children with special needs. Sedation is also effective for children who have a level of anxiety that prevents good coping skills or who are very young and do not understand how to cope with dental care in a cooperative fashion. The providers at Smile Reef Pediatric Dentistry are specially trained in sedation and follow safety guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
If your child will be pre-medicated to treat his or her dental condition, please follow the instructions below prior to the appointment to ensure safe, successful, and comfortable dental treatment.
- Allow your child to have a good dinner the evening before the appointment and a snack before bedtime.
- Ensure that his or her normal routine is followed the evening prior to the dental appointment (e.g., no overnights at relative’s house).
- Medication will be given by mouth (orally). Therefore, your child must have an empty stomach in order for the medication to be effective for dental treatment. The rule is NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT EXCEPT PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS. Occasionally our staff will recommend clear fluids (such as water or apple juice) up to four hours before the appointment, but you should check with our office if fluids will be administered. Unless instructed by our office, your child must have an empty stomach.
- Your child will not receive a general anesthetic. The medication is a pediatric hypnotic or sedative medicine. Local anesthetic will also be administered for pain control. Nitrous oxide, also called “happy air” or “laughing gas,” will be used for further comfort.
- After ingestion of the medication, we wait approximately one hour before beginning the treatment. During this hour prior to treatment, some children experience the following:
- Crankiness or excitable behavior, especially in the first 30 minutes.
Disorientation, loss of balance, and coordination.
Accordingly, special care and guidance must be given during the first hour so your child will be safe. If at all possible, we request that on treatment day no friends or siblings accompany the child receiving treatment. Dental treatment usually requires the entire morning.
Parents must remain in our reception area during treatment.
Please be PROMPT for your appointment because it takes approximately an hour for the medication to take effect.
An important point to remember is that if your child develops a fever, productive cough, and/or heavy nasal drainage within 24 hours of the appointment, please notify our office. We may need to reschedule.