General anesthesia is sometimes recommended for children who are unable, by either age or behavior, to cooperate during dental treatment. As this may pose a threat to patient’s own safety, our practice utilizes a certified anesthesiologist (MD) to facilitate in this process. Once general anesthesia is recommended as a potential treatment option, an in-depth discussion between the parents and the pediatric dentist takes place to ensure proper understanding of the procedure and maximize optimal outcome.
• General anesthesia is a controlled state of unconsciousness that eliminates awareness, movement and
discomfort during dental treatment.
• It is very safe. A board certified anesthesiologist (MD) comes to the office and comfortably sedates your child
during the dental procedure.
• All dental work is completed during this single visit.
• If radiographs (X-rays) were not obtained at the initial exam due to fear or uncooperative behavior, they will be
obtained while your child is sleeping, possibly revealing new cavities which will be restored at the same time.
• Since your child is unconscious and pain medications are given during the procedure, your child will not have
any memory of the procedure or feelings of pain and discomfort.
• Unlike conscious oral sedation, where the dentist monitors both the patient’s vital signs and completes the
dental work, two doctors are on site during general anesthesia. The anesthesiologist brings his/her own
monitoring devices and focuses solely on monitoring patient’s vital signs. This allows the pediatric dentist to
fully dedicate his effort on the necessary procedure.
• Prior to your child’s appointment, he/she will be asked to refrain from drinking or eating any fluids and foods. It
is critical that you follow the instructions provided by the anesthesiologist. If your child develops a fever or is
sick on the day of the treatment, it may be necessary to reschedule the appointment to a later date.
• After the treatment, your child will be asked to rest in the comfort of our office until he/she is stable, alert, and
ready to leave. Since patients are often tired following general anesthesia, please allow your child to rest at
home with minimal activity until the next day.
Precautions are taken to protect your child during general anesthesia. Personnel with advanced training will monitor your child closely to prevent and manage complications. Please feel free to discuss the benefits and risks of general anesthesia when it is recommended for your child.