For children who are particularly fearful of going to the dentist or have to undergo extensive dental treatment, your dentist might advise using general anesthesia to ensure the procedure goes smoothly. General anesthesia is commonly used in pediatric dentistry and is completely safe when administered by a specially trained dentist or anesthesiologist. Knowing what to expect with general anesthesia can help both you and your child feel prepared before and after the procedure.
What is General Anesthesia?
General anesthesia uses a combination of medications that are delivered through either an IV line or as a gas that is breathed from a mask. In most cases, children prefer the mask. However, the medication will be delivered through an IV once the child is asleep, as the mouth cannot be blocked by a mask for dental procedures. Once your child is under, they will not feel any pain whatsoever and will have no memory of the procedure when they wake up.
Home Care and Preparation
Your child’s dentist will give you some important rules to follow before the procedure. This will include a restriction on eating and drinking in the hours leading up to the procedure. The dentist might also prescribe your child with medicine to take beforehand, to help them relax even more.
It can take several hours for the effects of the general anesthesia to wear off after the procedure. Your child will likely be very sleepy and will need to have a parent or guardian with them for the remainder of the day to monitor them. Should any complications arise, call your dentist immediately.
You can rest assured that the professionals administering the anesthesia will be monitoring your child every step of the way, ensuring that the procedure goes smoothly and your child is safe. Additionally, it might be helpful to know that the general anesthesia used in dentistry is typically less invasive that what is used for other medical procedures. Ask your dentist if general anesthesia is right for your child, as it can drastically reduce the amount of fear and pain that can be associated with certain dental procedures.