The Best Time For Your Child's Operative Procedure

Morning, when they are fresh!

Many parents prefer that all appointments for their school-aged children be planned for the afternoon, so they don’t miss valuable time in the classroom.

While it is admirable to place a high priority on education, it’s often not the ideal decision in terms of getting the best dental care and results.

A morning appointment may mean that they have some missed school assignments to make up that evening, but a positive experience at the dentist’s office will pay long-term benefits in maintaining a healthy smile.

Frequently Asked Questions

An operative procedure can be anything from fillings and extractions to crowns and root canals.

Because these procedures require more time than a cleaning and examination, it’s important to have a cooperative patient to help things go smoothly.

As most parents know, children tend to be less restless when they’re most rested.

Therefore, a morning appointment after a good night’s sleep is often the better time to have such a procedure performed.


Many young children begin to get run down both physically and emotionally by the afternoon, making it a good time for a nap, but not a good time to sit still in a chair for a long period of time.

Even kids who no longer take naps are more likely to be less cooperative after a long day at school.

It isn’t all about sitting still either – there are other advantages to morning appointments.

If complications, such as soft tissue trauma, arise after leaving the office, there still may be time to bring the child back in the same day for treatment.

And if local anesthesia or sedation must be administered, the child will be required to wait a couple of hours before eating, thus a late afternoon appointment could interfere with their regular dinner time.


Even though a morning appointment may require a child to miss some time in the classroom, it is important to remember that a trip to the dentist is a critical learning opportunity as well. When instructions are given on how to improve or modify oral hygiene techniques, it is always helpful to have a child who is well rested, alert, and receptive to new information.

Additionally, children visiting the dentist for the first time or seeing a new dentist will most likely have a better experience in the morning. They will be more comfortable in a new and possibly strange environment when they are bright eyed and ready to face the day.