Is general anesthesia safe?
As with conscious sedation there is a slight risk associated with undergoing general anesthesia, however all precautions are taken to ensure your child’s safety. The anesthesia will always be administered by a trained professional, and our facility is properly equipped to handle this type of treatment. Your child will be monitored closely throughout their appointment in order to ensure that their health and safety is maintained while their dental issues are treated.
If you have concerns, discuss these with the pediatric dentist before your child’s treatment. They will be happy to answer any questions that you might have, and will let you know both the risks of general anesthesia, as well as the benefits for your child and why they feel it may be required for your child’s treatment.
Who should receive general anesthesia for dental treatment?
There are some cases where conscious sedation may not be enough, and general anesthesia may be necessary. This may include children who are extremely uncooperative or fearful, or for very young children who can’t cooperate with their dentist for treatment. Of course dental treatments that require oral surgery or patients who have special health care needs may also require general anesthesia.
How safe is sedation for my child?
Many children may feel unusually anxious or fearful of a visit to their dentist’s office, particularly if a routine of bi-annual visits was not established in infancy. Conscious sedation is an excellent way to mitigate that anxiety. These methods are different from general anesthesia, and usually only result in the child feeling relaxed and a bit sleepy.
Conscious sedation is considered to be very safe for children, and your child will be carefully monitored throughout their appointment. They will be checked with a pulse oximeter which monitors both their heart rate and the level of oxygen in their blood. They may also be monitored with a capnographer (a device that checks the quality and depth of their breathing), a blood pressure cuff, and the clinical observations of the pediatric dentist and dental assistants. All of these measures are to ensure your child’s safety during a sedation appointment.