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All About General Anesthesia

By Brianne Jones, RDH - July 16, 2019

All About General Anesthesia!

General anesthesia provides a way of effectively completing dental care while a child is unconscious. Usually only children with severe anxiety and/or severe tooth decay are recommended for general anesthesia. Typically, these children are young or have compromised health issues. Standard behavior management techniques may not be effective to accomplish treatment.

YES. While normal risks are always present with surgery, a pediatric anesthesiologist will put your child to sleep. They are responsible for delivering the general anesthesia, monitoring and the medical care of the child. Many precautions are taken to provide safety for the child during general anesthesia care. Patients are monitored closely during the general anesthesia procedure by anesthesia personnel who are trained to manage complications. We will discuss the benefits and risks involved with general anesthesia and why it is recommended for your child’s treatment.

Most times, your child’s surgery will be done on an “outpatient” basis. This means they will have their surgery in the morning at Children's Hospital or at our Parker office (opening in October of 2019) will then 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. On the day of treatment, the pediatric dentist and the anesthesiologist will chat a few things over with you and your child before proceeding to treatment.

Prior to surgery – Minimal discussion to your child about the appointment may reduce anxiety. Explain they are “going to go to sleep when their teeth are being fixed”.

Eating and drinking – It is important NOT to have a meal the night before general anesthesia. You will be informed about food and fluid intake guidelines prior to the appointment.

Changes in your child’s health – If your child is 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.

If you have any questions regarding GA, please contact us or another pediatric/kids dentist at any time!

Colorado Children's Dental Center