Hospital Dentistry and General Anesthesia for Your Child
At Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry, we understand that your child may be anxious or fearful of getting dental treatments. We do everything we can to ensure the comfort of your child, from the friendly atmosphere of our office to the gentle way we speak to your child. For anxious children, sedation may be advised. However, for children who are extremely anxious, sedation in our office may not be enough to enable them to relax or cooperate. For these children, as well as those who are very young, medically compromised, or have special needs, we may recommend general anesthesia at a hospital.
What Is General Anesthesia?
General anesthesia is a form of sedation. It is the strongest type, designed to make your child sleep through their dental procedures. Sedation is delivered through an IV, directly into the bloodstream. It is performed, and monitored, by a trained anesthesiologist. Because general anesthesia puts your child to sleep, they will not remember any part of their procedure. We can perform all of their necessary dental work in a safe, effective manner.
Reasons for General Anesthesia
It is our goal to ensure that your child has positive dental experiences. We do everything we can to make sure that your child feels safe and comfortable with us. However, some children are just more anxious than others. They can become extremely frightened, and even go into hysterics that make performing any procedure potentially dangerous. With general anesthesia, your child sleeps through while we work. They remain safe, and we can perform their procedures effectively to optimize their oral health. General anesthesia may also be recommended for children who require a significant amount of dental work, or children with special needs.
How Do I Prepare My Child for Their Appointment?
There are some things that you will need to do to help your child prepare for their procedure. It is important that your child doesn't have anything to eat or drink for at least 8 hours before their scheduled appointment. This is done to help avoid issues like nausea and vomiting. It is important that your child is dressed in comfortable clothing. This may include a tee-shirt, sweatpants, and sneakers. You may also want to consider packing a comfort item for your child, such as their favorite stuffed animal, that they can hold during their procedure.
The Day of the Procedure
When you and your child arrive for their appointment, we will prepare your child for general anesthesia. You may stay in the room with them during this preparation, as your presence can help to keep them calm and feel safe. We will give your child a medication to make them drowsy and then insert the needle to begin the IV. Throughout the duration of the procedure, your child is closely monitored by our anesthesiologist.
Once their procedure is over, your child is moved to recovery, where we can monitor their vitals for a while. When we feel your child is ready, they will be discharged, and you can bring them home to recover. Because the effects of general anesthesia can linger for several hours following their procedure, or even last into the next day, it is important that you monitor your child closely. Their activities should be limited during this time but can be resumed as they begin to feel more like themselves.
For some children, dental treatment in the office is just too scary, and not even in-office sedation is enough to help keep them calm. For these children, general anesthesia in a hospital is the safest, most effective way for your child to get the treatment they need to keep their mouth happy and healthy. For more information, call Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry today at (316) 202-9629.