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Sedation: Frequently asked questions
What can my child eat or drink the day of the procedure?
Preoperative fasting guidelines exist to ensure a safe anesthetic procedure. Under anesthesia, contents from the stomach can come up and then be inhaled into the lungs. This is a rare but potentially serious complication of both general anesthesia as well as deep sedation.
We recommend nothing after midnight, however if your child's scheduled dental procedure is after 12:00 pm, then please follow the guidelines in the following table. Your child must be fasting for the stated number of hours or the procedure will be postponed or cancelled along with a rescheduling fee.
Daily medications may be taken with a sip of water. It is permissible to brush teeth and try not to swallow the water. Please do not let your child eat any candy, mints or chew gum the morning of the procedure.
Milk, light food
Do Not Consume fried, fatty foods or protein
Water, clear apple juice, Gatorade, popsicles
Milk, cereal, toast, orange juice, pancake, waffle
Eggs, meats (bacon/ sausage), peanut butter, french fries, butter, protein smoothie
Up until 3 hours before procedure
Up until 6 hours before procedure
None of these foods the day of procedure
What happens when we arrive?
You will meet your anesthesiologist on the day of your procedure. They will have already called you at home the evening prior to the procedure, and they will answer any additional questions you might have. A nurse or anesthesia assistant proficient in pediatrics will will review the medical history and go over the anesthesia plan, alternatives, and risks. They will then have you sign the "informed consent" allowing the anesthesia to proceed.
What should my child wear?
Your child should wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing with short sleeves. They should be easy to slip on or off. They should also wear a zipped jacket or sweatshirt over the tee shirt to keep warm. All children should get a bath the night before and have clean, trimmed nails.
How will my child go off to sleep?
Upon arrival your child will be given an oral dose of a medication that will make them feel very relaxed over the course of 15 minutes. We will then bring your child back to the procedure room with you and they may watch tv while we connect our monitors and they inhale nitrous. An IV will be started and then the sedation continues through the IV until the procedure is finished. Your child will drift off to sleep fairly quickly and then you will be asked to wait in the waiting room until the procedure is completed. When it is safe we will have you return to the recovery room to be at your child’s side until they awaken from the anesthesia.
How will my child be monitored?
During the procedure your child will be monitored according to guidelines instituted by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Blood pressure, ECG, pulse oximetry, and EtCO2 will be carefully monitored throughout the procedure. In addition, all emergency equipment as well as drugs are readily available.
How will my child wake up?
When the procedure is finished your child will just awaken over time as the anesthesia wears off usually taking between 15-30 minutes. Children may wake up grumpy or tearful which is just a side effect due to disinhibition and disorientation from the anesthesia. This may last for 10-15 minutes and just being reassuring will help this pass.
What if my child has an underlying medical condition?
Sedation in the office based setting is optimal for healthy patients. If your child has any underlying medical condition or taking medications on a regular basis your anesthesiologist must be made aware. Conditions such as congenital heart disease, seizure disorder, severe asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, any syndromes or significant behavioral issues may need to be done in a hospital based setting.
What do I do if my child is sick?
Children that are sick are at an increased incidence of having an anesthesia complication such as wheezing or laryngospasm. We are truly concerned about the safety of your child and given this procedure is elective, it should be performed with them in a healthy state. If your child has a fever, congestion, vomiting, etc please call the office to reschedule.
What will recovery at home be like?
The effects of the anesthesia will continue to wear off as your child is at home. Keep your child in site at all times for the next 12 hours. Slowly progress the diet as tolerated.