During deep sedation or general anesthesia your child may need help breathing and will be unresponsive. Because ofthe potential risk factors of deep sedation or general anesthesia, the person administering the drugs must have advanced formal training in anesthesia.
General Anesthesia in the Dental Chair—Is it Right for Your Child? By Elaine Barrington While not always their favorite ex- the exam I will make a recommen- Children eighteen months to six perience, many children manage dation for sedation.” years old, and children with special today’s dental visits with relative needs, are the most likely candi- ease. Pediatric dental offices can Pediatric dentists usually manage dates for deep sedation or general resemble Tarzan’s tree house, a minimal or moderate sedation anesthesia because they are least submarine voyage, or perhaps a themselves, mainly using nitrous likely to control their own behavior trip into outer space. Add in video oxide (laughing gas) and/or an oral and cooperate. Also, they are more games and movies to the screen sedative. With minimal or moderate vulnerable to emotional distress. above the dental chair and the hy- sedation, your child breathes on gienist and dentist merely become her own, is conscious and responds During deep sedation or general tolerated distractions. to verbal commands. anesthesia your child may need help breathing and will be unre- But what happens if your child is Dr. Ghafouri finds it helpful to use sponsive. Because of the potential very young, afraid, or disabled, this form of sedation to reduce a risk factors of deep sedation or and diversions or typical behavior child’s fear about the appointment, general anesthesia, the person management techniques aren’t or when it is unreasonable to ex- administering the drugs must have enough? More frequently, pediatric pect a child to cooperate because advanced formal training in anes- dentists and parents are turning to of the length of the procedure and thesia. trained anesthesiologists for the the intensity of the work. solution. Most anesthesiologists that work A pediatric dentist will recommend in dental offices are dentist an- Administering general anesthesia that parents consider the option of esthesiologists who have general and other forms of sedation in the deep sedation or general anesthe- anesthesia permits in addition to pediatric dental office is gaining sia when she determines that it is their state dental licenses. Often, popularity thanks to new technol- necessary for safe and successful their entire practice is devoted to ogy and sophisticated medications. treatment. Dr. Ghafouri assesses anesthesia services in dental of- However, inherent risk factors as- this during the exam, “If a child is fices. Since they are trained as both sociated with general anesthesia out of control, then I know I won’t dentists and anesthesiologists, should compel you to arm yourself be able to mellow [him] out with they are uniquely qualified to work with the right information in order nitrous or an oral sedative.” with dental patients. to confidently choose a method that best suits your child’s needs Filling cavities, for example, re- Prior to the appointment the anes- when other interventions won’t quires your child to remain still for thesiologist will conduct a health work. his own well-being. Deep sedation evaluation of your child over the or general anesthesia is an alter- phone by taking a health histo
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