Children (and adults) often times experience a high level of anxiety when they see a dentist, especially if they need a lot of procedures done at once. Some children also have a high “gag” reflex and / or they could have some form of nervous reaction which could result in a safety issue during the procedure. This is where advanced behavior management techniques can really come to the rescue!
While mild sedation does not control all discomfort or anxiety, it does calm children enough to make the administration of anesthetic (shot) much more comfortable and limits untoward movements that complicate safely removing cavities with a handpiece (drill). Sedation also allows for more time of cooperation, keeping the child relaxed and capable of handling larger treatment plans. Any time an advanced behavior management technique is utilized, children will need to be monitored closely by an adult for an extended period of time after. Although sedation can be very useful for most situations, there are times when health considerations, amount of treatment required, safety of the staff and child, and to protect the developing psyche of a child, general anesthetic is the only safe way to complete treatment. Fortunately, both Dr. Kahn and Dr. Wiley are on staff at St. Vincent Hospital and Carmel Ambulatory Surgery Center, and very experienced in treatment under surgical conditions.
When the procedure is done, you will remain with your child as the medication wears off. The length of time it will take for the medication to wear off will vary, as some children take longer than others to become alert. Children coming out of sedation react in different ways. Your child might cry, be fussy or confused, feel sick to his or her stomach, or vomit. These reactions are normal and will go away as the sedation medication wears off. When your child is discharged, he or she still might be groggy, dizzy, or nauseous, and should take it easy for the rest of the day.