What is sedation?

Sedation is a technique to guide a child's behaviour during dental treatment. Medications are used to help increase cooperation and to reduce anxiety or discomfort associated with dental procedures. Sedative medications cause most children to become relaxed and drowsy. Unlike general anesthesia, sedation is not intended to make a patient unconscious or unresponsive.

Who should be sedated for dental treatment?

Sedation may be indicated for children who have a level of anxiety that prevents good coping skills, those who are young and do not understand how to cope in a cooperative fashion, or those requiring extensive dental treatment. Sedation can also be helpful for some patients who have special needs.

Why utilize sedation?

Sedation is used for a child's safety and comfort during dental procedures. Sedation promotes a better environment for providing dental care.

What medications are used?

Various medications can be used to sedate a child. Medicines will be selected based on your child's overall health, level of anxiety, and dental treatment recommendations.

Is sedation safe?

Sedation can be used safely and effectively when administered by a pediatric dentist who follows sedation guidelines set out by the College of Dental Surgeons of BC, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. One of our pediatric dentists will discuss sedation options and patient monitoring for the safety and comfort of your child.

What special instructions should I follow before the sedation appointment?

Children often perceive a parent's anxiety which makes them more fearful. They tolerate procedures best when their parents understand what to expect and prepare them for the experience. If you have any questions about the sedation process, please ask.

Should your child become I'll, contact our office to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment. Please let us know of any prescribed or over the counter medications your child is taking.

Prior to a sedation appointment, fasting is required. The guidelines for fasting are no solid foods 8 hours before the appointment. Clear liquids are allowed up to 2 hours before the appointment. It is critical to follow these guidelines or it may be necessary to reschedule the appointment.

What special instructions should I follow after the sedation appointment?

Your child will be evaluated after the dental treatment is completed to ensure your child is responsive, stable, and ready to go. Once at home, your child must remain under adult supervision until fully recovered from the effects of the sedation. After the sedation visit, specific post operative instructions will be given including appropriate diet and physical activity.