The following is a list of commonly asked questions about sedation. Although the answers given are only a recommendation, it is the patient’s individual responsibility to confirm what each individual dentist requires.
How will I be sedated? Based on your individual needs and the procedure to be performed, you and Dr. Klise will discuss the type of sedation he recommends prior to the procedure.
What should I do before my anesthesia or sedation? You will be provided with written preoperative instructions. The most significant requirement is that you have nothing to eat or drink past midnight the morning of the procedure. If a patient does eat the procedure will be cancelled. Otherwise, patients should dress comfortably with loose clothing, remove jewelry and fingernail/toenail polish. Please read the preoperative instructions for a complete list of things to be done.
Are there risks associated with being sedated and if so, what are they? You have the right to know and understand what is anticipated for a sedation, including the risks and benefits. Risks and benefits will be provided on the anesthesia consent and reviewed prior to the anesthesia experience.
Will I have to not eat or drink before my sedation and if so, for how long? As a general requirement, yes, food and drink must not be taken for six hours prior to the sedation. To be uniform and avoid confusion, “nothing to eat or drink past midnight” is the general rule given to be followed.
Why is going without food or drink for more than six hours important? Stomach contents can be brought up during anesthesia, leading to a serious problem. Having nothing to eat or drink six hours or more greatly reduces the risk of this to happen. Although a very low risk exists if the rule is followed, it remains a possibility and must be strictly followed.
What if I do eat or drink prior to my sedation? The appointment will have to be rescheduled regardless of the circumstances.
Should I take any medications before my sedation? Depending on your medical history, current medical conditions and list of medications you take, your dentist should instruct you on what and how they want you to take your medications prior to your sedation. Generally speaking, medications should be taken prior to anesthesia with a sip of water 2 hours prior to anesthesia.
What should I wear to a dental appointment where I am going to be sedated? Although any type of respectable attire is acceptable, keep in mind that loose-fitting, comfortable clothes are encouraged to be worn. Short sleeves are also preferred over long sleeves. Blankets will be provided during sedation procedures, but using one of your own or a child’s favorite blanket is encouraged.
Can I wear jewelry to my sedation appointment? For safety purposes, no. The procedure will not be done with nose rings, lip rings, tongue rings or any other facial jewelry in place.
Can I wear fingernail polish to my sedation appointment? Fingernail polishes may interfere with monitoring during anesthesia so it is requested that that it be removed. Additionally, excessively long fingernails can effect the ability or accuracy of monitoring so they should be shorter in length.
Do I have to have an IV started and if so, why? Depending on the type of sedation to be given, sedation drugs will be given through the IV. Also, for patient safety and IV is needed. The only sedation level where an IV will most likely not be needed is for minimal sedation.
Do I have to have a driver bring me and pick me up after the sedation? Although discouraged, adult patients may be dropped off for their anesthesia appointment. It is also encouraged that someone remain during the anesthesia to legally speak on your behalf should the need arise. Children may not and require a legal guardian to be present in the dental building at all times. Any adult patient who has been sedated cannot drive home. Depending on the dentist, the only exception to this rule is possibly the use of nitrous oxide/oxygen combinations.
For my child receiving sedation, can I have someone else bring them to the dental appointment? Only if prior arrangements have been discussed and established in writing prior to the day of the procedure. However, this is not hard and fast and I may require that a legal guardian definitely be present. You need to ask prior to the anesthesia and procedure.
What can I do following the sedation appointment? Please see the postoperative instructions. They will be provided to you in writing and verbally reviewed prior to being discharged from the office.
Who will be present for my sedation? The patient being sedated has the right to know who is expected to be present during the procedure. No family member may remain in the room once anesthesia has officially begun. In regards to staff, any support personnel and assistants present will be introduced should there be a request to do so.