General Anesthesia for Kids
Patients looking to put their children to sleep during their dental treatment often choose to go to Children’s Dental FunZone. Within all seven of our locations, including West Covina, Fontana, Reseda, Los Angeles, Eagle Rock, and Montebello, we make general anesthesia, or putting your child completely to sleep while having dental treatment done, a potential option.
Why do General Anesthesia?
Young children or toddlers are often very frightened of the dentist. The sounds they hear from the dental drill and the feeling of pressure that they feel, can make them go hysteric, even if they do not actually feel pain.
Moreover, some children need to have a lot of dental work completed on multiple teeth. Thus, it is often best to put the child completely to sleep in order to finish all of the treatment in one, stress-free visit.
How do we put a child under general anesthesia?
To provide the safest and most comfortable way to treat young children with a lot of decay, we hire an Anesthesiologist to come to the office regularly. The general anesthesiologist will give the child some oral medication that helps make them drowsy. Afterwards, the anesthesiologist will start an IV and give the right dosage of drugs to completely put the child to sleep.
Once the child is completely sleeping, the anesthesiologist monitors the child’s breathing and vital signs, while the pediatric dentist provides all necessary treatment.
What are the advantages to general anesthesia?
The greatest advantage of putting a child to sleep while getting their dental work done is that they will not be traumatized by their dental work.
Some of the medications that are used actually help the child forget all about what happened during the treatment. Also, once the child is completely asleep, all treatment, including x-rays, fillings, crowns, and cleanings can be done at once in a manner that is not traumatic or scary for the child.
What are the disadvantages of general anesthesia?
Although the risks are very low, particularly because we at Children’s Dental FunZone employ a dental anesthesiologist to oversee the procedure, some parents are not comfortable having their little ones completely put to sleep.
The biggest disadvantage of general anesthesia however is the cost. Most insurances do not cover the treatment and the anesthesiologist visiting the office will charge a set amount, which is due to the expensive medications and materials that are used. Fortunately, our offices do try to help patients afford this option through Care Credit.
Who is a good candidate for pediatric general anesthesia?
The younger the child, the more suitable of a candidate they are to be put to sleep through treatment. This will prevent them from being scared of the dentist, both during the present treatment and in the future. Some older children also have an inexplicable fear of the dentist. These children too would benefit greatly from being put to sleep.
Also, children that need a lot of dental work, which may normally require multiple appointments, may benefit from dental anesthesia because the child can have everything done at once.
Finally, some parents with special needs children would rather have their child put to sleep before having dental treatment done. Often, these children only get their dental treatment done in a hospital. However, since all of the Children’s Dental FunZone offices have an anesthesiologist on staff, these children can be treated in the comfort of a private dental office.