Conscious sedation is widely used in pediatric dentistry. Through this type of sedation your child will experience a relaxed state while still being conscious. About an hour before your child's treatment begins, our doctors will provide your child with an oral medication that is easy to swallow and safe. There are various regimens that we use. Depending on your child's needs, your child's doctor will choose the best regimen for your child. You may see an effect as rapidly as 15 minutes but the peak effectiveness is achieved in about an hour. Once the medication takes effect, your child will be able to speak and respond to external requests. However, many children fall asleep.
While very safe, when this method of treatment is used, it is imperative that your child is healthy and that you prevent your child from having anything to eat or drink from midnight the night before the procedure. Failure to do so can put your child at extreme risk of complications to the medications or may require rescheduling of the procedure.
Common Questions About Sedation Dentistry
We understand that you may have many questions about sedation dentistry before receiving treatment. Here are some of the most common questions and answers about sedation dentistry:
- Will my child feel anything during my treatment? In most cases, patients do not feel anything. There is very little discomfort, and many patients leave feeling relaxed and comfortable.
- Is sedation dentistry the same as being unconscious? No. You will still be conscious and responsive but you will be in a deep state of relaxation. The goal of oral conscious sedation is to alter their consciousness level enough that they are no longer anxious about how long the procedure will take or if it will be uncomfortable.
- Is sedation dentistry safe? Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way for many patients to receive dental treatment. Your child's doctor will help you decide if oral conscious sedation is right for your child.
- How long will it take the sedation to wear off? The time it takes for the sedatives to wear off varies. Typically, your child should be responsive and alert when you leave. After you do leave, we recommend you feed them and stimulate them. The faster you get their metabolism moving, the faster the medications will be metabolized.
That being said, they should not go to school or participate in sports or like activities after treatment with conscious sedation for the rest of the day.