Why would a child need sedation or general anesthesia just to have teeth
Is there a safer, less risky way to treat a
How are pediatric dentists making sure
sedation and anesthesia are safe?
If sedation or anesthesia is recommended to
treat my child's teeth, how can I be sure this is the best option?
Why would a child need
sedation or general anesthesia just to have teeth fixed?
children suffer from serious, potentially painful dental diseases.
Unlike such health conditions as colds or flu, dental diseases won't go
away on their own. When treatment is required for a serious dental
condition, sedation or general anesthesia may be recommended to make
delivery of that required treatment possible in a safe and comfortable
manner. Without treatment dental diseases can adversely affect,
learning, communication, nutrition and other activities necessary for
normal growth and development.
- Is there a safer, less
risky way to treat a child's teeth?
When a child (or a person
of any age with a disability) needs extensive dental treatment, general
anesthesia is an accepted standard of care. This standard is supported
by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental
Association, the American Medical Association, and the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services. General anesthesia is also an accepted
standard of care for situations involving children who have limited
comprehension or children who are extremely uncooperative and require
dental care that is technically difficult or sensitive to deliver.
- How are pediatric
dentists making sure sedation and anesthesia are safe?
Pediatric dentists are
carefully trained in the safe administration of sedation as part of
their specialty education which lasts two to three years beyond dental
school. This advanced education includes practice experience in a
The American Academy of
Pediatric Dentistry encourages all dentists to follow the Guidelines for
the Elective Use of Conscious Sedation, Deep Sedation and General
Anesthesia in Pediatric Dental Patients. The Guidelines which were
passed 13 years ago and revised several times since, recommend such
procedures as patient evaluation, informed consent, monitoring, and
back-up emergency services.
The American Academy of
Pediatric Dentistry, along with a number of dental universities, offers
continuing education courses on sedation every year to keep the dental
profession well informed of developments in safe sedation techniques.
If sedation or
anesthesia is recommended to treat my child's teeth, how can I be sure
this is the best option?
Ask your pediatric
dentist to explain all treatment options and their benefits and risks.
Parents should have the right to be carefully informed about the
benefits and risks of any dental treatment for their children. In fact
parents have the opportunity to sign informed consent papers before
sedation is administered to their child.