Sedation Dentistry for Severely Autistic Child

I have a non-verbal, severely autistic child. Most of the time he is a perfect angel. But, when he has an episode it can be a bit nightmarish. He has a dental appointment coming up. I’ve opted for using a sedation dentist. I know he’ll be fine once the sedation takes affect, but how do I prepare him for the appointment leading up to the sedation? I want it to go as smoothly as possible so he will not dread dental care.


Dear Sherri,

Child receiving treatment from a dentist

I can tell right away that you are a great mother. This alone will help your son with every obstacle he will face. I also feel that sedation dentistry is a great choice for your child, so way to go with that decision. Here are some things you can do to help with your son’s appointment.

Communication is Key

This is true of almost everything. However, with any medical procedure, it is even more important. The first thing I would do is make sure your sedation dentist has a complete medical history on your son. Let them know of any special considerations, such as mobility issues, etc. Is he able to swallow pills or will he need a liquid sedation? Will he need a caregiver with him? You can even tell them about his likes and dislikes.

Get to Know the Place

Some dentists are willing to let patients, especially children, make a visit to the office before their appointment. They can see the rooms, meet the staff, and just have fun without anyone trying to do any treatment for them. If your dentist doesn’t do that, then you can show them pictures of the office from their website. These usually have images of happy patients in them.

Bring Security Items

Are there things that help your son feel more comfortable, such as a special blanket, or stuffed animal? If so, bring them. Does he like music? Let him listen to music. As you know, autistic children do better with routine. If there is a certain part of the day he does better with “errands”, then see if they can schedule you during that time, so it is more natural for him.

I’m sure things will go smoothly.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.