Pediatric Dentistry of East Lansing

General Anesthesia

About Sedation

Deep sedation may be required due to apprehension, anxiety, age, or medical condition.  Sedation may be used if your child needs extensive or complicated procedures that will take a long time to complete, or needs several procedures done all at the same time. 

General anesthesia makes your child’s whole body “go to sleep”. It is needed for certain dental procedures and treatments so that his or her reflexes will be completely relaxed. Your child will feel no pain during the procedure, nor have any memory of it.

Our office provides care for children by one of two sedation methods–either under IV sedation in our office with a dental anesthesiologist, or in the operating room under general anesthetic with an anesthesiologist

What can you expect on your first visit?

After receiving a referral, we work closely with your child’s current dentist to confirm the dental treatment required.  The initial visit to our office will focus on determining the best path forward. We will answer any questions that you may have and work to help your child feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

We only see one patient in the office at a time, so you and your child will be the center of our attention.  We dedicate an hour of our dentist’s time to performing your child’s exam, obtaining and/or reviewing any radiographs (x-rays), and explaining your little one’s treatment needs in detail. During this consult, we will go over your child’s medical history in extensive detail. We will discuss treatment with you in detail, to make certain that everyone is on the same page prior to scheduling the surgery date.

What will surgery day be like?

After the initial consult, we will schedule the surgery date. If in-office IV Sedation has been chosen, then we will see you at the same office for the next visit. At that time, a dental anesthesiologist will provide the anesthesia in our office. On that day we will also provide additional support for added personnel and increased safety during the surgery. All your child’s dental needs will be completed in one easy visit, while he/she sleeps. You will then stay together in a recovery room for a brief period, and then you will go home that same day. All instructions will be given to the parents both before and after surgery.

 We complete our OR cases at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. The surgery center will then provide all nurses and anesthesia (many of whom work with regularly and are Fantastic!) All your child’s dental needs will be completed in one easy visit, while he/she sleeps. You will then stay in a recovery room for a brief period, and then you will go home that same day. All details and important instructions will be given to the parents both before and after the surgery.

  • Do not bring your child to his/her appointment if your child is sick or has a fever. Should your child become ill, contact us immediately so we can reschedule the appointment
  • Tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking (prescribed, over-the-counter, or herbal medications) and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Have your child dress  in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Do not allow your child to have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the procedure.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office, hospital or surgical site waiting room during the entire procedure.

After the appointment:

ACTIVITY: The medication may still affect your child for 24 hours. Whether he/she feels drowsy or seems fully awake, they may lack their usual coordination. Your child needs careful watching to prevent falls and accidents.

NAUSEA: Your child may experience some nausea or vomiting from the anesthesia. If so, please only give clear liquids until the nausea/vomiting has stopped.

DIET: Your child can be given clear liquids for the first 1-2 hours. If your child has no problems with nausea, then he/she may have a “light” meal (soup, ice cream, crackers, etc.). Should vomiting occur, return to the clear liquid diet. A soft bland diet may be tolerated easily for the first 1-2 days. If there is no nausea or vomiting, your child can gradually eat solid foods after the first few hours. Please do not allow your child to hard or sticky candy from now on, as this can damage the teeth that were fixed.

PAIN: It is important that your child be kept comfortable during the healing time following dental treatment. We commonly see children refuse to eat or drink when they are having severe mouth pain. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen medications should be given per the instructions on the package. Avoid the use of aspirin.

CARE OF MOUTH: It is of vital importance that the teeth be cleaned during the initial healing stages. This brushing must be done by an adult since children will be very reluctant to properly brush their teeth. Use only a soft bristled toothbrush to brush their teeth. It may help to run warm water over the toothbrush to soften the bristles. It is normal to notice a small amount of bleeding after brushing the teeth.

WHAT TO EXPECT: It is common for a slight amount of bleeding to continue for 2-3 hours following any extractions or extensive treatment. This small amount of blood usually appears excessive because it is mixed with saliva. Should an abnormal amount of bleeding occur, it can be easily controlled by taking a moist wash cloth and having your child bite on it (applying pressure to the bleeding area). Pressure for 10-15 minutes will control minor bleeding. It is common to have a low grade fever for the first 24 hours. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen medications should control the fever.