General anesthesia is usually recommended for extremely apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious sedation.
General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he or she was having their tonsils removed and ear tubes placed. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks.
Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.
Prior to your appointment
- Please notify us of any change in your child’s health. Do NOT bring your child for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child become ill, contact us immediately to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
- You must tell the doctor of any medications that your child is currently taking, of any drug reactions, and/or of any change in medical history.
- Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Your child should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 2 hours prior to the appointment.
- The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the office during the complete procedure.
After the sedation appointment
- Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
- If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
- If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit.
- Prior to leaving the office, you will be given a detailed list of “Post-Op Instructions” and an emergency contact number if needed.