“Sleepy Time” are two precious words if your child requires a painful, lengthy or anxiety-ridden dental procedure.  At Dentistry for Children, we are proud to provide Sleepy Time, also known as procedural sedation.

This is a powerful tool for alleviating pain, terror or restlessness during a complex or lengthy dental procedure.

Sleepy Time:  Sedated and Safe Dentistry

Painless and Fearless is our Goal for Children.

Painless and Fearless is our Goal for Children.

We are also proud to follow guidelines and uphold the standards of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).  Sarat “Bobby” Thikkurissy, DDS, MS reported in his recent article, “Every day thousands of children are sedated safely and without harm across the country.”  Then he adds, “In spite of sedation’s safety track record, it is the unexpected outcome—a death, hospitalization..  He continued saying these occurrences  “drive us to analyze and reanalyze our processes in an attempt to keep our children safe.”

At Children’s Dentistry in Orlando we also work with parents.  We try to find answers to anesthesia options.  We want to know how well your child will tolerate the time in the dental chair.  Or should it be sleepy time with modern pharmacological choices?  As Dr. Thikkurissy states, “In weighing the option to use procedural sedation, we truly must strive to achieve a standard of “zero tolerance” for adverse outcomes.”

Sleepy Time for Secure Dental Care

Like the AAPD, our attitude at Dentistry for Children is focused on a child’s safety at all times in our care.  In case you as parents do not know, The AAPD formulates the best practices and practical protocols.  And they are followed by all the best pediatric dentists.  They set the highest standards for us to use.  And then they back them up by offering post-graduate educational seminars and educational opportunities.

Based on those golden AAPD rules, let’s take a look at our role in your child’s sedation.

1.   The Impact of the Health and Medical History:  We take the time to discuss, scrutinize and examine your child’s health and medical history.

We especially analyze details that affect respiration and sedation.

·      We need to understand Weight factors like BMI or obesity.

·      Prematurity:  We comprehend that if your child was premature, he or she might have endured airway issues in his or her early years. We must review all materials referring to his or her respiratory system.

2.   More than A Paper to Sign for Sleepy Time—Your Consent:
Your Understanding and Consent is a vital part of Treating Serious Dental Procedures.

Your Understanding and Consent is a vital part of Treating Serious Dental Procedures.

We will also take the time to define your child’s diagnosis,  treatment and prognosis for you. Only when you understand the details can you make an informed decision about the type of “sleepy time” medication you are approving for the procedure.

Thus we are committed to “providing patients/parents with relevant information regarding diagnosis and treatment needs so that an educated decision regarding treatment can be made.”

Before requesting your informed consent, we pledge to discuss not only the procedure or surgery involved, but also
“its risks, benefits and alternatives.”

Likewise, we promise to discuss the options of sedation or general anesthesia.

3.   Who else is On the Sleepy Time Team?

Without sounding political, we know when insurance companies “attempt to drive clinical decision making,” as dentists, we must examine the child and the risks. We must analyze and champion the child’s need for the insurance company or even, sometimes, over the parents’ needs or over parental understanding.

4.   Why Sleepy Time Decisions Require Wide Awake Talk:

We vow to avoid confusing parents with unnecessary complex medical and legal jargon.  We believe in two important steps before asking you to trust us with your child’s sedation.

·      First we must have a talk because we believe in practical language and everyday communication.  We don’t just hand you a folder of difficult-to-understand forms and send you away to sign them.  We Talk.

“According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, the understanding of 14 percent of adults (30 million people) falls below the basic level of health literacy.”

You see, we are aware that health literacy can impact a parent’s ability to understand written documents, but when speaking one-on-one, they totally grasp a spoken conversation.  Not to mention the fact that, when children are involved, it can be difficult to focus beyond emotions.

It’s hard to study terms and read the fine print.  This is a time when all you really want to do is protect and snuggle your precious child.  So, we stress talking, and it’s why we listen closely.

We talk you through your child’s procedure, step by step.  We discuss the procedure, your anesthesia decisions and your consent form.

·      Health literacy and understanding is why here at Dentistry for Children in Orlando.  We have created very sensibly worded consent forms that are easy to understand within the framework of our conversation about sedation or general anesthesia.

·      When we ask for your consent concerning sedation

“When we are considering major dental work, we are committed to discussing it adequately with you as parents before we even think about administering sedation or general anesthesia.”

5.    No DIY Sleepy Time Meds from Dentistry for Children
Trust your Dental Expert on sedation.

Pre-medicating without the dentist approval is a Real NO, NO.

Once in a while, a parent will want to dose a child with “anxiolytics” at home before seeing the dentist.  For us, this is a big no-no.  On the surface, it might seem a good idea to some parents.  However, it is an idea fraught with risks and the AAP/AAPD forbids it, stating that “The administration of sedating medications at home poses an unacceptable risk.”

If you were to get caught in a traffic jam, your child would have to be sedated again upon arrival, or the appointment would have to be changed.

Likewise, and more serious, are the real-life studies which show that tragedies can occur when these strong sleep time medications are given at home.

Thus the AAPD does not endorse such a procedure, and neither do we.

As you might have guessed, there is much to discover about “Sleepy Time” dentistry.  Sedation or general anesthetics should not be chosen for a procedure without careful consideration.  Thank you for reading our blog this week.  Watch for more news about sedation and general anesthetics in dentistry.  And please join us again soon for more big news about your child’s little teeth.  Keep on Brushing!  And Smiling!