General Anesthesia FAQ


It is most important that your child have an empty stomach when given an anesthetic. This will reduce the danger of vomiting and inhaling stomach contents into the lungs while asleep.

The medications that are used to maintain the anesthesia relax protective reflexes that protect the lungs. To prevent the child from inhaling stomach contents, your child should have NO SOLID FOODS for 6 HOURS before the procedure and NO CLEAR LIQUIDS for 3 HOURS before the surgery.

You must follow these instructions or your child’s procedure will be cancelled to ensure his/her safety.

For In Office Surgery

Please arrive 1 hour prior to your appointment time.


If your child is taking any chronic medications or natural supplements, please discuss them with your anesthesiologist.

Oral medications can be taken with a sip of water and please bring any inhalant medication with you for your appointment.

It is important to discuss this with your physician during his/her physical prior to the appointment. Do not interrupt medications unless it is recommended that you do. Medicines, if they are taken, should be taken with a small sip of water.


Your child should wear loose-fitting clothes with short sleeves that are easy to remove and put back on. Old clothes are preferable as they may get stained with blood or other fluids during the procedure and recovery. It is always a good idea to bring an extra change of clothing and blanket for your child, as it is possible they may have an accident. If your child wears diapers or pull-ups make sure they are fresh and that you bring some extra on the day of the procedure.


Your child may be drowsy at home. Try to keep him/her awake for at least 2 hours after arrival home so that the residual effects of the anesthesia will wear off more quickly. Pay particular attention to their breathing. Make sure if they fall asleep that their head is tilted back so that his/her airway will not be obstructed.

Keep your child in sight. Do not let him/her wander off outside to play by themselves, no skating, skateboarding, swimming, bicycling or playing with other children until the day after the surgery. It is helpful to progress slowly to a regular diet. Start by giving liquids such as water or non-carbonated drinks, advance to soft foods as instructed by your dentist.

Your child has just undergone dental surgery with a general anesthetic. Since every child responds differently to such procedures, we’ve put together information that will address some common concerns.

Nausea & Vomiting

Any nausea and/or vomiting that may occur will last a short time. If your child does vomit, wait about 30 minutes before giving them liquids such as water or carbonated soft drinks. If nausea does not occur, progress slowly to a regular diet. Try soup, crackers, and then solid foods.

Bleeding & Pain

Children will respond to pain or discomfort differently, therefore their mouth may or may not feel sore after surgery. You may give your child Children’s Tylenol or Motrin* to help make them more comfortable, if necessary. There may be also a small amount of bleeding around the gums. The gums are pushed on and cleaned around during surgery therefore a little bleeding is normal after dental surgery and should stop within a few days. If teeth were extracted there may be some discomfort and bleeding. If your child’s mouth starts bleeding excessively please call 1 866 978 2728


After any surgical procedure a low-grade fever (99-100 F) is normal. You may give your child Children’s Tylenol or Motrin*. If the fever continues over 101.5 F for 24 hours please call 1 866 978 2728.


Your child may feel sleepy for the next 24 hours. This is due to the medicine your child has received. Please do not leave the child alone. Children should rest at home, but may be up and about. Please have your child refrain from exercise that requires quick reflexes for 24 hours. Regular activity is encouraged the day after surgery. Keep children propped up with a pillow while sleeping. Check your child every 20-30 minutes to make sure they respond.

Sore throat

Your child may have a sore throat due to the drying effects of the anesthetic gasses for up to 48 hours.

Post Operative

Your child will need to come back to see the dentist two weeks after the surgery. Please schedule a postoperative visit at the time of surgery. If you have any further questions or concerns please call 1 866 978 2728

General Anesthesia Service is provided by