Truth About General Anesthesia in Pediatric Dentistry
Sedation is a big part of dentistry. It is one of the main reasons why most dental works are successful. As you would imagine it is cumbersome to put a patient with dental anxiety at ease for a procedure. With the help of sedation dentistry, dentists have a far much easier time offering dental services to patients.
When it comes to pediatric dentistry, the same applies. A kids’ dentist in Houston TX will tell you that oral treatments for children are still hard to perform without proper sedation. Even then, the use of general anesthesia has not sat well with most patients over the years. Read on to learn more.
What Is General Anesthesia?
It is a sedation method used in dentistry to help keep patients at ease during long dental procedures. Ideally, general anesthesia is different from other types of sedation, having that patients are put into a deep sleep. This means that you will not be conscious during your procedure.
For these reasons, general anesthesia is only used for long dental procedures. This mostly covers the surgical procedures, more so for adult treatment.
However, dental treatment for children is different. A pediatric dentist in Houston TX will explain to you that children require more attention to their oral cavities than adults. This can be hard to achieve, given that almost all patients have anxiety toward medical intervention. That said, the last thing a pediatric dentist near you will want to do is add to the anxiety of your child. This can easily happen by implanting new memories of discomfort and pain through the new procedure.
General Anesthesia for Children Dental Treatment
The truth about general anesthesia for children is that it is used on a need basis. Unless a pediatric dentist in Houston deems it necessary to use this type of sedation, it will not be used. Some of the reasons why general anesthesia is used for children treatment include the following:
- For complicated dental problems – an example is when your child has a fractured jawbone that needs in-depth treatment to correct. Such and other complicated dental problems can necessitate this type of sedation.
- For dental emergencies – oral emergencies are common for children, having that they are still getting a hold of their mobility functions. When there is an emergency at hand, the child is already traumatized enough. To alleviate the pain and discomfort, a dental expert may recommend using general anesthesia when handling the oral emergency.
- For surgical procedures – your child should not have to live with the memories of the surreal experience of going through surgery. This is why they need to be in a deep sleep in the operation room.
- For long procedures – anytime a child has to go through a long procedure, general anesthesia is needed. Children are not the best at sitting still, nor at sticking to one thing over a long period. Besides, deep sleep is exactly what your child needs to keep the reflexes in control.
- For multiple procedures within the same appointment – sometimes a dentist has to carry out more than one procedure to achieve oral excellence. If this is necessary for your child, then general anesthesia will be used for sedation.
Important Things You Should Note
When it comes to the health of your child, the more you know, the better it can be for both of you. If for nothing else, learning more about the procedures will help you guide your child into a place of comfort mentally and emotionally. Some of the following things will be clarified to you by the attending pediatric anesthesiologist before anything commences. Still, here is a breakdown of some things you should expect during the appointment:
- Deep sleep – once general anesthesia is active on your child, he/she will be in a deep sleep. They cannot wake up from sleep in the middle of the procedure. Instead, medication will be used to wear off the effects of the anesthesia.
- No pain – the fortunate thing us that your child will not feel any pain during the procedure.
- Monitoring of heart rate, blood pressure, and other body functions – the attending doctors have to closely monitor the functions of the body during the treatment.
- Numbness after the procedure – the mouth and throat will feel numb up to 30 or 45 minutes after treatment.