When a child needs a difficult or complex dental procedure, the orthodontist may recommend options for sedation. Here are some questions parents can ask the orthodontist about sedation procedures:

• What type of medication(s) will be used and how will they be administered?

• What are the possible side effects?

• What is the minimum level of sedation that might be used to get the treatment done safely? Are there other options?

• What training and experience is required to administer these agents?

• How will the child be monitored? Will someone remain in the room once the sedation is administered and stay there during and after treatment?

• What provisions are made for emergency medical services?

• How long-lasting are the sedation medications? Are there any post-treatment instructions that should be followed?

• Will post-treatment pain medication be necessary?

•Does the dental office have the child’s most up-to-date health history—including allergies and any and all medications that the child is currently taking?

Orthodontists should inform parents about the benefits and risks of any orthodontic treatment for their children. They should answer any and all questions that parents may have about sedation and understand the options before giving consent.

[www.ada.org, October 4, 2006]