Sedation Instructions

Pre Sedation Instructions

In order to accomplish the sedation safely with the best chance of success, there are certain procedures we ask that you follow before and after the appointment. These are as follows:

  • A child is much influenced by his/her parents' behavior. If you are anxious, upset, and worried about going to the dentist, so will be your child. Please relax.
  • ​Your child should have a good night's rest before each appointment.
  • ​Your child should wear comfortable clothing and should not have hair in a ponytail or braid. All fingernail polish should be removed.
  • ​Your child should have nothing to eat or drink for at least 8 hours before the appointment, preferably nothing after midnight.
  • ​As legal guardian you must accompany your child and if possible do not bring any siblings along so that your child can have your full attention and care.
  • ​When possible it is ideal to have a second responsible adult to monitor the child during your travel home.
  • ​It is very important that your child be in good health for this appointment. Please advise us of the presence of a cold, cough, runny nose, or fever when the appointment is confirmed. Sedation will not be administered when a child is ill.
  • ​For oral sedation your child may not be completely asleep; only "relaxed". At times he/she may fall asleep but can be aroused. For IV sedation and general anesthesia your child will be completely asleep.
  • ​Because of the tendency towards drowsiness and clumsiness for several hours your child should remain indoors and be closely watched for several hours after the appointment.
  • ​It is normal for a child to sleep for 2 to 4 hours after their appointment.​

​In case you have questions once you are home, call us at 817-439-4999.

​We appreciate your efforts on your child's behalf in making his/her visit to our office a pleasant one.

After Sedation Instructions

Activity: Sedation medication may still affect your child for 24 hours. Sometimes after the sedation a child can become very hyperactive and/or irritable especially if their mouth is numb. This does not last long and will go away in about thirty to sixty minutes. Whether he/she feels drowsy or seems fully awake, they may lack their usual coordination. Your child needs careful watching to prevent falls and accidents. Most of the children will sleep for up to four hours after they go home. Check on your child every ten minutes or so while sleeping to make sure that their chin is up from the chest and that breathing is not obstructed and do not leave them unattended (a responsible adult should remain in the same room with them until they have completely recovered). Your child should not sleep face down and they should not have any blankets, pillows, or toys near their face.  

Diet: The most common side effect of sedation is nausea. Your child can be given clear liquids (ice chips, 7-UP, Gatorade, Jello, or any liquid you can see through). The first meal needs to be "light" (soup, cereal, ice cream, crackers, etc.) Avoid fatty foods such as hamburgers because this may make the nausea worse. Should vomiting occur, wait 30 minutes before you give you child anything by mouth and then return to the clear liquid diet. Your child's mouth may be sore for the first 2-3 days and a soft, bland diet may be tolerated easily. However, he/she may eat solid foods if he/she desires after 24 hours.

Numbness: Your child's mouth may be numb for several hours from the sleepy juice (local anesthetic) used. Be careful he/she does not bite or scratch their lip, cheek, or tongue. Only drink liquids or have food they can eat with a spoon (i.e. yogurt, ice cream, apple sauce, pudding) for the first 3 hours. Allay their fears and explain that the tingling sensation will go away shortly. If they bite their lip, it will swell really big and develop a white film on the inner portion of the mouth. Please refer to our dental emergencies tab for more information.

Care of the Mouth: It is important that the teeth be cleaned during the first few days following treatment. Often a toothbrush on raw or sore gums is difficult for the child to tolerate. You should rub the gum line with the gauze or washcloth twice is day. Running warm water over the bristles also helps. It is important to return to regular brushing after 2 days. A little bleeding can occur around extractions or crowns but without the brushing the healing process will be delayed by bacteria and inflammation.

What to Expect: It is common for a slight amount of bleeding to continue for 2-3 hours following treatment. This small amount of blood usually appears excessive because it is mixed with saliva. Should an abnormal amount of blood occur, it can be easily controlled by taking a folded gauze square (provided by our office) or a damp washcloth and having your child bite on it (applying pressure on the bleeding area). Pressure for 10-15 minutes will control minor bleeding.

Pain: It is important that your child be kept comfortable during the healing process following dental treatment. Typically Ibuprofen or Tylenol is recommended for use. Please pay strict attention to Dr. Ashcroft's instructions for giving pain medication and strictly adhere to the medication's label for dosaging. We commonly see children refuse to eat or drink when they are having mouth pain. If this should occur, it would be important for you to call our office. Avoid the use of aspirin.

When to call our office:

  • ​Noisy or difficult breathing
  • ​Refusal to eat after the first 12 hours following treatment
  • ​​Persistent vomiting
  • Fever over 101F or 38.4C
  • Excessive bleeding
  • ​Persistent pain