General anesthesia allows your Worcester pediatric dentist to take care of the complex dental needs of their patients. A pediatric dentist may use a local anesthetic to treat patients who need fillings, crowns, nerve treatments, or extractions. At times, local anesthesia isn't enough. Due to the complexity of the case or the special needs of the child, general anesthesia may be administered. General anesthesia is the use of a combination of medications that put your child in a sleep-like state. While they're asleep, we can take care of all their dental needs quickly and safely.
There are three reasons why your Worcester dentist may need to use general anesthesia.
Extreme dental phobia: In some cases, just the idea of entering a dental practice can send a child into a panic attack. It is often difficult to see these patients regularly, which means they don't get the dental cleanings and exams needed to help prevent dental issues or catch them in the early stages. Unfortunately, when we see these patients, it's because they're experiencing some sort of dental pain. General anesthesia is the best way to proceed with the dental treatment and keep these patients at ease.
Special needs children: Children with certain physical or mental conditions may need specialized care. Patients with autism, cerebral palsy, and Down's syndrome may benefit from general anesthesia in Worcester. For the safety of the patient, as well as the dental team, sedation through the use of general anesthesia may be the best way to provide quality care safely.
Complex dental cases: Patients who need extensive treatment — such as fillings, crowns and extractions — or who have rampant decay can also benefit from this type of sedation. The patient is completely relaxed, and our dental team can complete all of the work necessary in a shorter amount of time. Since the child is asleep, they won't experience any pain or discomfort from the dental procedure.
Do you have questions about sedation dentistry? You're not alone. The following are questions parents ask us often about general anesthesia in Worcester.
For the most part, yes, general anesthesia and sedation dentistry is safe for your child. However, as with anything, there are risks dependent on things like the health of the patient.
According to Boston Children's Hospital, the risk of an injury from anesthesia is at a rate of one in tens of thousands. The way they explain the risk rate is this way: Your child would have an equal or greater risk of injury doing something they do every day, such as riding a bike, swimming, or skateboarding.
In the past, that might have been the case. These days, though, we can administer this type of anesthesia safely in the comfort of our pediatric dental office in Worcester.
The medications used to put your child into a sleep-like state are inhaled through a mask and administered intravenously through an IV line. It may be necessary to insert a breathing tube into your child's windpipe to ensure proper breathing throughout the procedure. We will continuously monitor your child's vital signs including breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.
Once the child is asleep, we'll begin their dental treatment. After the procedure is completed, your child will then be given time to wake up and recover and after that, you can take them home.
Typically, it can take 30 minutes to an hour for a child to fully awaken from the anesthesia. They may feel drowsy or experience other symptoms such as: