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Conscious Sedation

Drawing of crabs in a bucket on the beach

What is conscious sedation?

Conscious sedation is a management technique that uses medications to assist the child to cope with fear and anxiety and cooperate with dental treatment. The intent of conscious sedation is not to put your child to sleep, but simply to reduce anxiety and help your child be more cooperative.

Who should be sedated?

Children who have a level of anxiety that prevents good coping skills or are very young and do not understand how to cope in a cooperative fashion for the delivery of dental care should be sedated. Conscious sedation is often helpful for some children who have special needs.

Why utilize conscious sedation?

Conscious sedation aids in allowing a child to cope better with dental treatment. This can help prevent injury to the child from patient movement and promote a better environment for providing dental care.

What medications are used?

Many different medications can be used for conscious sedation. We will discuss different options for your child.

Is sedation safe?

Sedation is safe when administered by a trained pediatric dentist who follows the sedation guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Baldy will discuss sedation options and patient monitoring for the protection of your child.

What special instructions should I follow before the sedation appointment?

Your child must have an empty stomach to improve the effect of the medicine, and ensure the highest level of safety. Therefore your child must not eat or drink 8 hours prior to the appointment. All our sedation appointments start at 8 a.m., therefore simply put your child to bed after a big dinner, and wake them up as late as possible prior to leaving for you visit.

In order to alleviate potential anxiety in your child, we recommend that you have minimal discussion of the dental appointment with your child. Should your child become ill, contact our office to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment. It is very important to follow the directions of our office regarding fasting from fluids and foods prior to the sedation appointment.

What special instructions should I follow after the sedation appointment?

Your pediatric dentist will not discharge your child until the child is alert and ready to go. Children who have been sedated are instructed to remain at home for the rest of the day with adult supervision. We will discuss specific post-sedation instructions with you, including appropriate diet, physical activity, and requested supervision.