Answers About IV Sedation

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Here at Children's Dental FunZone your child is important to us. We are able to provide multiple avenues of care for your child. One option is the use of Intravenous (IV) Sedation. IV sedation is a form of anesthesia where a sedative medication is dispensed through the bloodstream during a patient’s treatment.

Children's Dental FunZone offers this as a service in-office, to calm anxiety and alleviate any discomfort. We have a team of Anesthesiologists who create a safe and sterile environment to ensure the best quality of care. However, it's important that parents/guardians are fully educated regarding treatment with anesthesia, the cost, what to expect, and how to prepare.

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Our Financial Coordinators are available to help Parents/Guardians decide if IV sedation is a good option for their child. Below are common questions about IV Sedation. Our coordinators would be glad to discuss these further or help answer any other question that you may have.

What is IV Sedation?

Intravenous (IV) Sedation is a form of general anaesthesia where the sedative medication is administered directly into the patient's blood. The patient is put into a “twilight/sleep” state, where they are fully relaxed, and calm.

Is IV Sedation safe?

IV Sedation is completely safe. Our staff members have medical practice licenses and years of experience dealing with sedation. Plus, the techniques we use have been proven to be safe for everyone.

How much does it cost?

IV sedation may be a covered benefit through your insurance. Speak to our Financial Coordinator for further details.

Can I stay with my child during the appointment?

The Anesthesiologist creates a hospital like setting and is focused on the patient. Extra people in the room create distractions and compromise the sterile environment.

How long will the procedure take?

Approximately 2 hours, depending upon the amount of treatment.

How will I know if my child is ok?

Our Anesthesiologist will constantly monitor heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen levels to make sure the patient does not have a negative reaction to sedation. Blood pressure will be taken before and after the procedure.

How do I explain anesthesia and IV to my child?

Children understand and respond well to the following explanation.

Anesthesia is medicine that helps you sleep during surgery so that you do not see, hear, or feel the surgery. IV is a tiny plastic straw that goes in your hand or arm and allows your body to 'drink' the medicine. In order for the straw to get into the right place, there is a small poke with a needle.

If my child takes medication, should I give it to them the morning of their appointment?

The Anesthesiologist will review all medications the patient may take or should avoid the day of the appointment. Be sure to inform the office/Anesthesiologist of any and all medications the patient takes. If the patient is told they can take their normal medication, it can be taken with a small sip of water or one tablespoon of applesauce.

What should my child wear the day of the appointment?

The patient should be dressed in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and in a short sleeve shirt. Bring a change of clothing and a blanket. If possible, have your child wear a diaper or pull-up.

What happens if my child had food the day of the appointment?

The presence of food/drink in the stomach can lead to aspiration of the stomach contents into the lungs. This could lead to serious lung complications, hospitalizations, and even death (The patient may vomit, which could then go into the lungs and create serious issues).

What can I expect to see as my child goes off to sleep with anesthesia?

Every sedation/anesthesia experience is a little different. As children become sleepy from anesthesia, some simply close their eyes and fall asleep smoothly, while others enter a stage of excitement before drifting off to sleep.

Are there any side effects of IV Sedation?

Patients may be slightly disoriented or "loopy" for a bit after coming off sedation. It all depends on the type of procedure and the amount of medication used.

How will my child wake up from anesthesia?

Everyone's experience is a little different, some children will wake quickly and may be awake before their families arrive to see them. Other children may remain sleeping for several minutes or hours from the effects of the anesthesia, may cry, seem inconsolable, or have difficulty recognizing familiar objects or people.

This behavior is not usually related to pain and typically children do not remember it. This wake up is known as "emergence delirium" and will pass with time. We do not recommend forcing your child to wake. In our experience, children often have a gentler and more comfortable wakening when unprompted and on their own.

How will my child be after anesthesia?

Children will not have their usual balance and coordination after sedation/anesthesia. Although young children may be persistent in wanting to walk on their own, it is unsafe for them to do so for several hours after their procedure.

You should avoid having your child do anything that may require coordination or quick response during the rest of the day. Please have your child avoid activities such as:

  • Walking up or down stairs
  • Riding a bike/skateboard/ATV
  • Swimming
  • Using playground equipment
How long until my child can eat and what should I feed him or her?

Begin with clear liquids (e.g., apple juice, Jell-O, water, broth, 7-up, Gatorade). When liquids are tolerated for at least 1-2 hours, then the patient may be progressed to a soft diet (e.g., applesauce, yogurt, mashed potatoes, eggs, soft noodles, etc.) and then to a regular diet.

What do I do if my child gets a fever after I go home or complains their body aches?

Muscle aches or sore throat are possible after general anesthesia and will usually disappear within 24-36 hours.  A fever of up to 101 degrees F may develop for the first 12 hours. Over-the-counter Children’s Tylenol/Advil with plenty of liquids will tend to alleviate this condition as well as treat any post-operative discomfort.

Do I have to come back for a follow up appointment?

The treating doctor will let you know if further post op appointments are needed for your child.

Who do I call if I have any questions after surgery?

The Anesthesiologist is available for questions, should there be any. They make sure the patient receives quality care and are happy and relaxed while at our office.

Is IV Sedation the right choice for my child?

IV is a safe, alternative method of administering sedation. It is highly effective at minimizing a child’s anxiety and/or discomfort, and promoting a calm and positive treatment experience.

The key is making sure parents are prepared and fully informed. If a question should arise that you are uncertain of, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly staff. Our Financial Coordinators, IV Coordinator, and Management are here to help!

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