If a child is very young, has special needs, or is unable to get work done in the office for other reasons, a pediatric dentist may recommend they have the work done under general anesthesia. In our office, that means the child will go to a designated hospital/surgical center that we have coordinated with. An anesthesiologist will place the child under a highly controlled state of unconsciousness. The child will therefore be unaware of any potential discomfort and will not experience any fear or other negative emotions. It is often the safest and most effective way to treat patients with a lot of anxiety, negative past experiences, etc. who do not respond well to nitrous oxide (you can learn more about nitrous oxide in our previous blog article).
Before the hospital visit, the child is required to have a physical examination to ensure they are healthy enough to be placed under general anesthesia. The hospital will also call the guardian of the child beforehand to tell them how long the child will need to fast. Our pediatric office and the surgical centers we work with ensure the guardians are educated well in advance about everything that needs to be done and what to expect. The guardian is advised to keep the child home to rest after the appointment.
In our office, you will be asked to make an appointment a month following the surgery date so we can follow up with the patient. Please understand that surgery center appointments are only recommended and scheduled if the pediatric dentist believes it is the safest and best course of action for the child. We encourage you to call us if you have any questions or concerns regarding a surgery appointment. We are dedicated to providing the best possible care for each individual patient and we look forward to working with your kiddos in the future!