Q: What is general anesthesia?
A: General anesthesia provides a way of effectively completing dental care while a child is unconscious in a hospital setting. Due to the risks of any surgical procedure and high cost, only children with extensive treatment or severe anxiety are recommended for general anesthesia. Typically, these children are young or have compromised health issues. Moreover, standard behavior management techniques are not an effective tool to accomplish treatment.
Q: Is general anesthesia safe?
A: YES. While normal risks are always present with surgery, many precautions are taken to provide safety for the child during general anesthesia care. A board certified, anesthesiologist will assess your child prior to anesthesia, put your child to sleep, monitor the patient’s overall medical health during dental treatment and assure patient has recovered completely prior to being discharged. We will discuss the benefits and risks involved with general anesthesia and why it is recommended for your child's treatment.
Q: What special considerations are associated with the general anesthesia appointment?
A: Most times, your child's surgery will be done on an "outpatient" basis. This means they will have their surgery in the morning and be allowed to go home in the afternoon. A physical examination is required prior to a general anesthesia appointment to complete dental care. This physical examination provides information to ensure the safety of the general anesthesia procedure. We will advise you about any evaluation appointments that may be requested. Prior to surgery, we recommend minimal discussion with your child regarding the details of the upcoming appointment in order to reduce anxiety. Explain they are "going to go to sleep when their teeth are being fixed". Regarding Eating and drinking, it is important NOT to eat or drink anything past midnight the night before general anesthesia. Food and fluid intake guidelines will be discussed in more detail prior to the appointment. If there is a change in your child’s health, that includes being sick or running a fever, contact our office immediately! It may be necessary to arrange another appointment. Usually, children are tired following general anesthesia. You may wish to return home with minimal activity planned for your child until the next day. After that, you can usually return to a routine schedule. Detailed post-treatment instructions will delineate more information regarding physical activity, diet, oral hygiene, and management of pain, swelling and bleeding.