Post-Operative Sedation Instructions After Your Child's Treatment

Congratulations- you made it!  We hope you and your child have had a positive experience with Dentistry Asleep ®.  Here are some reminders and answers to commonly asked questions regarding your child’s care after treatment.

Getting Home

After your child is brought to the recovery room, the registered nurse will assess them before being discharged.  Children generally require 1-2 hours of recovery time before discharge is permitted.  Your child must be easily rousable, awake, and able to take small sips of fluid.

As your child’s accompaniment, you must remain with your child at all times after theirtreatment.  You are responsible to ensure your child does not fall or injure himself/herself while medicated. Your child should rest at home and be supervised by you for the remainder of the day.  Most children resume their normal activities within 10 hours after their appointment.  If you are driving, make sure your child will be secure in your vehicle during the trip home. It’s also important to have a second adult in the car to observe and care for your child on the way home.  As discussed, public transit must NOT be used for your return trip home- only private car or taxi.

Eating and Drinking

Generally speaking, your child can eat and drink anything they would like, as soon as they like.  I recommend popsicles and freezies to help reduce any swelling of the lips and mouth as well to help re-hydrate your child.  While I don’t usually advocate giving your children soda and other sugary drinks, in this circumstance, the combination of caffeine and sugar in Coke and Pepsi are great choices to help your child become more alert.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea or vomiting is rare, as we give medication during your child’s appointment to prevent it.  In the few children who do experience it, it’s usually very brief.  If prolonged, first give your child small sips of Gatorade or flat ginger ale until the feeling subsides.  If even water, Gatorade or flat ginger ale is vomited, give your child chewable Gravol and wait an hour before trying clear fluids again.  If your child can’t keep even Gravol down, use a Gravol suppository as directed on its package.  If nausea and vomiting still persist, call us.

When to Call Us

Parents very seldom feel the need to call or page us after treatment but please feel free to do so if you have any concerns or if any of the following occurs:

  • Persistent elevated fevers, especially ones that has not responded to pain relief medication
  • Prolonged, repetitive vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing, unusual snoring, or coughing
  • Prolonged drowsiness or sleep, especially beyond 4 hours

Pain Management

It's important for your child to be comfortable after treatment.

Many doctors are only recently becoming aware of the pain that children can experience after treatment. In the past, it was thought that children didn't feel and respond to pain as greatly as an adult. But we now know that this clearly is not true. In fact, children generally have more intense post-operative pain and need more pain medication per kilogram than adults for a day or two.

I may prescribe a medication to keep your child comfortable after their treatment. You should give the first dose within an hour or two after treatment. For two days give a dose regularly, every 4 to 6 hours.

We also now know that blocking pain prior to any treatment as well as during treatment results in less pain afterwards. With this in mind I encourage you to give your child non-prescription acetaminophen (Tylenol or Tempra) or even better—Advil or Motrin syrup for children 3 hours prior to treatment.

Do not hesitate to use the pain medication if your child displays pain related behavior such as grumpiness, crying, lethargy, seeking nurturing, irritability or verbally complaining. It's most accurate with children under 7 or 8 years of age to assess the need for pain medication based on their behavior rather than asking them. Remember that pain is very real for those who are feeling it, and your child will not always admit that they're out of sorts because they're in pain.

After two days your child should need little, if any, pain medication.

Keeping the teeth plaque free is most important when managing post operative pain and could be a challenge for a few days after the treatment, without causing any pain or irritation to the tender sites. I recommend using a soft brush or even baby cloth and gently brush or wipe the teeth. Dabbing a mild salt-water solution with a Q-tip could help to relieve and heal some of the surgical sites. If your child had a stainless steal crowns placed, it normally takes about 7-10 days for the tissues to adapt and feel normal again. Please, do not get worried if the gum appears slightly red or irritated and may even bleed. It’s all part of the healing process. I will see your child 5-7 days post-operatively and will address any concerns you or your child may have.

To ensure that your child has a save and favorable recovery from the treatment, myself or one of my registered nurses will make a call the day following treatment to see how well you are doing.

At Dentistry Asleep®,Dr. Kevin Dann offers dental hygiene services, routine dental care for adults and children, periodontal and endodontic therapy,  cosmetic dental procedures and dental implants. Dr. Dann is one of the few Certified Specialists in Dental Anaesthesia, giving complete, comfortable care to all his valued patients. Enjoy experienced, anxiety-free dental healthcare!  Make your appointment now!