ANESTHESIA FOR CHILDREN
Sometimes a child may not be able to be treated while awake or under conscious sedation, whether due to their young age, combativeness, or extensive amount of treatment. For these patients the child’s dentist may recommend the option of deep sedation or general anesthesia. Children require extra special care whenever they receive dental treatment, and placing them under anesthesia is no exception.
Your child is in the best possible care when being sedated by our anesthesiologist. It is not uncommon for children as young as one year old to need extensive dental treatment. Anesthesia can be safely administered to these young patients by Dr. Eitan Gross, our anesthesiologist.
There are several factors that the anesthesiologist will take into consideration when developing a plan for your child’s anesthetic. First and foremost is your child. A thorough medical history will be obtained and a physical exam will be conducted by the anesthesiologist. Expert consultations from specialists may also be obtained to make sure the anesthesia plan is adapted perfectly for each individual patient.
While many parents are nervous about the prospect of having their child asleep for the dental work, you can be assured that modern techniques allow for an extremely safe anesthetic. Your child is usually administered a sedative through an injection in his or her arm or thigh, while being held by a parent.
Parents or other family members are generally not allowed to remain with the child once the anesthetic has been induced but they will be allowed to return early in the recovery process. Your child will have no recollection of being away from you for any time at all. They will be under the direct supervision of the anesthesiologist throughout their entire anesthetic. The anesthesiologist has only your child’s safety and comfort in mind.
Recovery and Post-op
Your child is usually ready to leave the office within one hour of the conclusion of the procedure. They will be able to sit without any undesirable symptoms and their vital signs will be stable. They will be responding in an appropriate fashion, and will display appropriate, but diminished, physical coordination. Children are discharged when still somewhat drowsy, and will usually require carrying. They must have adult supervision for the remainder of the day, and should not be allowed to participate in any activities in which lack of coordination or alertness would endanger them.
An EKG is used to monitor the heart rhythm. A pulse oximeter monitors blood oxygen levels at all times. Respiration is monitored utilizing capnography, electronic precordial stethoscope and direct observation. An automatic blood pressure monitor is also used. Close observation is employed the entire time your child is asleep by both our anesthesiologist and nurse.