Back to articles

Oral Sedation with Midazolam

Advancement in the speciality of Paediatric Dentistry

Medicine in cupOral Sedation

If your child has been assessed to benefit from oral sedation to help them cope with recommended dental treatment, your dentist will recommend that your child is given an oral sedative. This technique should only be used by appropriately trained dentists who have a Conscious Sedation endorsement on their registration with the Dental Board of Australia, and have on hand the recommended drugs and equipment to manage an inadvertent overdose.

The most commonly used oral sedative is Midazolam. This short acting medication will sedate your child in approximately 20-30 minutes. Midazolam will be mixed with Panadol syrup to make it more palatable for your child. Your child may fall asleep before, during and after the dental treatment, but will be awakened easily. This sedative effect will last approximately 2 to 3 hours in total.

Preparation for Oral Sedation

Please ensure that your child is healthy on the day of the appointment and that you have informed your child’s dentist of any medical conditions that your child may have, even if these are under control. Conditions that may interfere with sedation are respiratory difficulties such as sleep apnea, asthma, night-time snoring and tonsillitis. If you are unsure if about any condition your child might have, please ask your child’s dentist before the day of the sedation procedure.

Inform your child’s dentist if your child is taking any medications.

Your child should have nothing to eat for 6 hours prior to their appointment, especially milk products and nothing to drink for 4 hours prior the appointment time. Unfortunately, this may mean no breakfast!

Please be prepared to spend approximately two hours at the surgery on the day of sedation. Your child will require your full attention, so please arrange for alternative care for any other children.

Private transport should be arranged to take your child home after their appointment, as it may be difficult to manage your child on a bus or train. If you are the driver, please arrange for a second adult to look after your child while you concentrate on driving home.

Please keep a close eye on your child after the procedure, as the sedation may make them prone to falling or tripping easily for the rest of the day.

A rare side effect of the medication is known as the ‘Angry Child Syndrome’. In the event that this occurs, the dental procedure may have to be postponed or abandoned until an alternative course of treatment can be arranged.

If you have any questions or require further advice please do not hesitate to contact the surgery.

Download the American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry brochure on Oral Sedation