Preparing for your child's appointment:

Is sedation safe?

Oral Conscious Sedationis a technique used to guide a child’s behavior during dental treatment.  Oral medications are administered to the child prior to the appointment to help increase cooperation, reduce anxiety, and decrease discomfort associated with dental procedures.  The appropriate medication and dosage will be determined based on your child’s age, weight, cooperativity level, and developmental status.  Sedative medications cause most children to become relaxed and drowsy.  Unlike general anesthesia or IV sedation, oral sedation is not intended to make the patient unconscious or unresponsive.

Oral Conscious Sedation For Children in Dallas

Sedation can be used safely and effectively when administered by a pediatric dentist who follows the sedation guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.  Your pediatric dentist will  discuss sedation options and patient monitoring for the safety and comfort of your child.

Why use sedation?

  • Children that have a level of anxiety that prevents good coping skills
  • Very young children who are unable to cope
  • Children who require extensive dental treatment
  • Special needs children

Oral Conscious Sedation

What are the medications used?

  • Your child will need to be monitored very closely, and will be drowsy. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep then place them on their side with their chin up.
  • You will need to wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. In the beginning, it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be easily digestible and light.
  • If your child vomits, to ensure that they do not inhale the vomit, help them bend over and turn their head to the side.
  • Your child may have the tendency to bite/rub their lips, cheeks, and/or tongue after treatment because we use local anesthetic to numb your child’s mouth during the procedure. Monitor your child carefully to prevent any injury to these areas.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office.

Who is a candidate for sedation?

Sedation is used for a child’s safety and comfort during dental treatment.   It helps a child cope better with dental procedures and helps prevent injury from uncontrollable/undesirable movements.  Sedation promotes a better environment for providing dental care.

After care for appointment utilizing conscious sedation: 


  • Do not allow your child to have solid food for at least 6 hours prior to their sedation appointment and only clear liquids for up to 4 hours before the appointment.
  • It is necessary that you tell the doctor of any drugs that your child is currently taking (prescription medicines or herbal supplements or vitamins) and any drug reactions and/or change(s) in medical history.
  • Please inform the office of any change in your child’s medical condition and/or health. If your child has a fever, ear infection or cold do not bring your child. If your child becomes ill, please contact the office to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment. We will be more than happy to re-schedule.
  • Please dress your child in comfortable, loose fitting clothing.
  • Prior to arriving at the office, please make sure that your child has gone to the bathroom as not to interrupt the procedure.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the entire procedure.
  • Please watch your child while the medication is taking effect. Keep your child in your lap or keep close to you. Do not let them run around the office as they could harm themselves.
  • Your child may become excited at first and will act slightly drowsy as the medication begins to take effect.

Various medications can be used to sedate a child.  Demerol, valium, versed, and vistaril are some of the most common medications used in pediatric dental conscious sedations.  Medications and dosages  will be selected based upon your child’s overall health, age, weight, cooperativity level, developmental status, level of anxiety, and dental treatment proposed.