Is Anesthesia Safe for Children? Questions to Ask Your Dentist

August 1, 2022

Whenever possible, dental professionals will perform their work without putting a patient under general anesthesia; however, in some cases it is necessary. When it comes to putting children under anesthesia for a dental procedure, we understand that parents may be concerned about the potential for complications. At American Dental, we want to ensure you that general anesthesia is safe for children of all ages and that all necessary precautions will be taken to avoid problems. If you are concerned about putting your child under anesthesia for a dental procedure, here are some questions you can ask your dentist to put your mind at ease:

How Often Do Complications Occur from Anesthesia?

The overall rate of complications from anesthesia is extremely low – around 4.5%, according to a study conducted in Europe. Of the participants who experienced complications, 45.9% had risk factors that were identified during their pre-sedation medical history review. The complications experienced by the majority of those participants were minor and required no treatment; severe complications were experienced by a mere 0.07% – only 2 cases out of 2,731 – of the study participants.

What Precautions Will You Take Before the Procedure to Avoid Complications from Anesthesia?

Before your child goes under anesthesia, your dental surgery team will go over their past medical history, including allergies, current prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and past illnesses or hospitalizations. If they notice any potential issues, they will recommend an alternative course of treatment.

What Specialized Training Does Your Team Have to Administer Anesthesia?

A dentist anesthesiologist undergoes all the same training as a regular dentist (undergraduate degree and doctoral degree in dentistry) as well as residency training in anesthesia. Dentist anesthesiologists must be licensed by the state medical board to administer anesthesia.

In addition, every dentist and dental assistant in the state of Illinois are required to have a healthcare provider level CPR and Basic Life Support Certification so they will know what to do if there is an emergency. This is a continuing education program that must be renewed every 2 years to ensure every dental professional is up-to-date on essential lifesaving procedures.

What Level of Sedation Will be Provided During This Procedure?

There are different levels of sedation, and each procedure is evaluated individually to determine the appropriate level. Dentists will always use the minimal level of sedation necessary for the procedure in question. The dosage of anesthesia is determined by the patient’s body weight and is adjusted for each patient individually.

What Should I Do If We Experience Complications after the Procedure?

Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions for the period immediately after sedation as well as emergency contact information in case you notice any problems when you get home.

Oral Surgery in Chicago

If you need any type of oral surgery in Lincoln Park or anywhere else in the Chicago area, the team at American Dental is ready to assist you. At our 8 Chicagoland locations, we employ the most skilled oral surgeons, dentists, and support staff. Call (773) 741-4329 or click “Make an Appointment” to find an office near you and schedule your appointment today.

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