Pediatric Dentist Pre & Post Op Instructions
For scheduled surgical procedure, parents and patients must be sure to follow all pre and post-operative instructions to ensure success. Please read instructions. Download a PDF file preoperative instructions and post-operative instructions for your specific procedure(s).
In case of emergency call Dr. Richardson day or night: 909-234-7921
IV Sedation Pre-Op Instructions Eating or Drinking
FAILURE TO STRICTLY FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS COULD RESULT IN ASPIRATION AND MAY BE FATAL! For anesthesia it is extremely important that patients have an empty stomach, and the following instructions are to be followed.
5 years of age and older:
No solid foods for eight (8) hours prior to appointment. Water or apple juice ONLY may be taken up to three (3) hours prior to appt. Nothing may be taken for three (3) hours prior to appointment.
Under the age of 5:
No solid foods for six (6) hours prior to appointment. Water or apple juice ONLY may be taken up to three (3) hours prior to appt. Nothing may be taken for three (3) hours prior to appointment.
Please remember, we make every effort to estimate your treatment and co-pays, however, treatment may always change at the time treatment is completed. This is due to having x-rays taken and/or a more accurate diagnosis as the child will be still and cooperative. This can either lower your total co-payment estimate or also make it higher. All co-pays will still be due in full at the appointment. You will always be notified before we do any additional treatment and be offered to consent or decline.
Please have the patient wear a short sleeve shirt. Children should bring a light blanket. For children who do not wear a diaper or pull up, a change of clothes should be available. Do not wear make-up, nail polish or false eyelashes. Contact lenses should be removed before anesthesia.
Change in Health and Medications
A change in health especially the development of cold or fever is extremely important. Please notify our office if there is any change in the child’s health. Prescription medications should be taken as scheduled unless previously indicated by your doctor and may be taken only with a sip of water.
Instructions to Follow
A parent/guardian must accompany the patient to the office and remain during the procedures. It is best for one parent/guardian to spend the rest of the day with your child. Also, we kindly request that all siblings remain in the care of another adult, as your child will need your full attention during the sedation and recovery process. If you do not have an adult to leave the sibling with, please bring with you another adult to care for the sibling.
Prior to your appointment the anesthesiologist will contact you to review preoperative instructions and to answer any questions. If you would like to discuss your anesthetic before this appointment, you may contact our office for your anesthesiologist’s phone number. The anesthesiologist will sometimes very by appointment date.
IV Sedation Post-Op Instructions Pain or Fever
Muscle aches and sore throat may occur similar to the flu. It is very common after general anesthesia and will usually disappear within 24 to 36 hours. Drugs such as Tylenol and Advil are usually very effective and should be taken at the first sign of pain, if normally tolerated. For children a fever of up to 101 degrees Fahrenheit may develop for the first 12hours. Tylenol elixir every 3 to 4 hours with plenty of liquids will tend to alleviate this condition as well as treat any post-operative discomfort.
Limit oral intake to liquids for the first few hours. If teeth were extracted, do not use a straw. Initially, limit intake to clear liquids such as water, apple juice, or Gatorade. Once clear liquids are tolerated, slowly allow the patient to try soft foods. Suggestions include applesauce, yogurt, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes and soups. If your child is not hungry, do not force feed him/her to eat but encourage drinking liquids for the next twenty-four (24) hours.
Do not engage in moderate to high physical activity for 24 hours or until the effects of the anesthetic have subsided completely. Judgment may be impaired during this time as well so do not allow your child to swim, bike ride, or playing with other children. Place a blanket on the floor for the child to sleep and observe him/her closely.
Oral Sedation Pre-Op Instructions – Versed or Halcion
To try to make your child’s dental experience a pleasant one, your child will be given a mild sedative of Versed or Halcion. This medication will relax your child and enable him/her to cooperate for the best possible results. Pediatric dentists and pediatricians commonly use these oral sedatives to aid children in providing a tranquil setting for therapy.
It is extremely important that your child have an empty stomach during the treatment so the medication will work best with the fewest number of side effects that can accompany an anxious patient. For this reason, our office reserves our morning appointments for our patients requiring sedative procedures.
To help you understand the medication procedure, here are some important points to remember:
- Please notify our office if your child develops a fever, a productive cough, and/or heavy nasal drainage within 24 hours of the appointment.
- Your child will not receive a general anesthetic. The medication is a sedative. However, oral sedation does not work for everybody and does have limited effects.
- Upon arrival, the doctor will measure and administer the medication to your child in a cup mixed in with Children’s Tylenol. At first your child may not show signs of sedation. This is not unusual. Within about 15-30 minutes, however, your child will relax to a restful condition that will enable treatment to follow.
- Nitrous oxide (“happy air”, or “laughing gas”) and oxygen may also be used for an added effect. This will make the procedure more comfortable for your child.
- Following the appointment, your child will be groggy and may want to sleep once he/she is home in a comfortable environment. It is appropriate to let him sleep, yet it is most important to wake your child and encourage your child to drink clear fluids, such as Gatorade, water or apple juice. Carefully observe your child’s activities for the remainder of the day. Remember, your child’s balance is one of the last reflexes to return to normal.
- NO EATING OR DRINKING ANY “CLOUDY” FLUIDS SUCH AS MILK OR ORANGE JUICE AFTER MIDNIGHT EXCEPT PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS.
- Small amounts of clear fluids (Gatorade, water, apple juice) may be given up to 3 hours before the appointment. Please, no milk or orange juice.
- Please be prompt for your appointment because it takes approximately 30 minutes for the medication to take effect.
- We reserve our morning appointments exclusively for patients requiring sedation, and it is most important to be conscientious and compliant with the appointment time.
We kindly request that all siblings remain in the care of another adult, as your child will need your full attention during the sedation and treatment process.
Oral Sedation Post-Op Instructions
- Monitor and limit your child’s activities for the remainder of the day. The effects of the sedative will continue for a while and your child may feel drowsy. You can let your child sleep (with continued observation), but no more than one hour; the more he/she is asleep the longer it will take for the medication to wear off. It is best to place your child on the ground with pillows and blankets surrounding them. Also place your child on his/her side when they sleep. Do not be alarmed as the drugs are wearing off. Your child can be irritable as this occurs. Your child should not ride bicycles, climb trees and play on swing sets, swim or other physical activities.
- Monitor and limit your child’s activities for the remainder of the day. The effects of the sedative will continue for a while and your child may feel drowsy. You can let your child sleep (with continued observation), but no more than one hour; the more he/she is asleep the longer it will take for the medication to wear off. It is best to place your child on the ground with pillows and blankets surrounding them. Also place your child on his/her side when they sleep. Do not be alarmed as the drugs are wearing off. Your child can be irritable as this occurs. Your child should not ride bicycles, climb trees and play on swing sets, swim or other physical activities. Your child has been given a local anesthetic for his/her procedure. This may last from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Caution should be taken to avoid lip, tongue and cheek biting, which may occur accidentally while eating. Soft foods usually minimize the occurrence of lip/cheek biting because less chewing is necessary. The soft tissue will swell and become very painful if it is injured from biting. A cotton roll is placed in your child’s mouth to help prevent biting and you may receive extra cotton rolls for use at home. Some children become alarmed when the local anesthetic is wearing off and they experience a tingling sensation. Please reassure them that their teeth are “waking up”. This feeling is normal and will wear off.
- Slight bleeding at the gum line around new crowns and restorations is normal for the first 1-5days. Do not let this alarm you or stop you from brushing your child’s teeth thoroughly. The area will only heal well if it is kept clean and brushed thoroughly.
- Your child’s mouth may be sore from treatment that was done, especially if it was extensive. You may give him/her Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Ibuprofen every 4-6 hours as needed. Please call the office if those medications are not effective or if further problems develop.
- Finally, tons of tender loving care.
- CALL OUR OFFICE IF:
- Vomiting occurs
- Temperature elevates above 101F/38C
- There is any difficulty breathing
- Bleeding continues past the normal expected time
- Any other matter causes you concern
Extraction Post-Op Instructions
- Please keep biting on gauze for at least 30 minutes. If bleeding continues after that, apply gauze again until bleeding stops.
- No vigorous swishing, rinsing or spitting for 24 hours.
- Nothing through a straw for 24 hours.
- Soft foods only for 24 hours. Nothing hot, if you give your child soup; please make sure it’s cooled down.
- If child experiences any discomfort, you may give him/her ibuprofen of your choice, (Advil or Motrin), or Tylenol.
Pediatric Dentist – Children Dentistry serving Corona, Eastvale, Norco, Jurupa Valley, Riverside, California