Is General Anesthesia Safe for Dental Treatment of Children ?

Dental caries, are not only affecting oral and dental health of children, it also effects on general health, regular diet, regular sleep pattern and psychology of children. Therefore, if any, dental caries should be treated starting from the first moment they are diagnosed. However it is not always possible to make dental treatment on dental chair for children having dentist phobia and non -cooperated. Also there is injury risk especially for treatment of children in early ages, because they can move suddenly. In these situations, it is recommended to make treatment under general anesthesia.

Dental treatment under General anesthesia can be performed in every age starting from the first eruption of teeth in 1 year old. Duration of the treatment depends on the number of procedures. All of the planned dental treatment can be done in one session under general anesthesia and this situation provides a comfort for both the child and the parents.  Usually parents are concerning about receiving general anesthesia for their children. There are a large number of parents who think that there is no need for a procedure like this especially for treatment of deciduous teeth. But deciduous teeth starts to change at the age of 6-7.

The exchange of molar teeth is completed around 11-12 ages. Every deciduous tooth is a guide for the permanent tooth underneath. Advanced caries and infection of deciduous teeth will harm the permanent teeth underneath and loss of tooth material will prevent proper alignment of teeth. Children living with decayed teeth until this age period poses a serious risk in terms of both general health and oral and dental health.     Therefore, making treatments of children that can not be treated on dental chair under general anesthesia facilitates both children and their parents’ lives.

Full fledged hospitals should be preferred

Nowadays general anesthesia is performed extremely safe and comfortable with the help of new anesthesia techniques and medicines. The important thing here is to perform this procedure in a full fledged hospital and by specialist doctors. .

The experience of the dentist about this field who will make the treatments under general anesthesia is very important. As you know, dental treatments are long lasting treatments especially when more than one procedure will be done. Dentists specialist in their field can shorten this period as possible as they can and at the same time they can prevent recurrence of general anesthesia.

The Child Shouldn’t be Separated From His/Her Family!!!

The child should be examined by general anesthesiologist before deciding to make dental treatment under general anesthesia, in terms of checking if there is any harm or not. In situations that there is no harm for child to receive general anesthesia, he/she is taken to a special room with small surprises on the day of operation. Primarily relaxation of the child is provided by using oral or rectal sedative medications near his/her mother and father. Slightly sleepy child with the effect of the medicine, is taken to the operation room. With the help of this he/she don’t feel like leaving his/her family and don’t remember anything later on.The child is awaken by general anesthesiologist just after completion of all the caries and preventive treatments by a pedodontist. The child who is taken next to his/her mother and father again in a short period of time after the procedure, sees her/his mother and father when he/she opens his/her eyes. Therefore the child thinks he/she is always near his/her mother and father so he/she can easily adapts his/her normal life after sedation or general anesthesia.

One thing that should be done by mothers and fathers before the procedure is to start brushing their children’s teeth regularly and in an appropriate manner. Having healthy gingiva and not having bleeding related with not brushing will directly effect the duration of dental treatments under general anesthesia. The major problem during the treatment of  tooth decays is gingival bleeding related with not brushing regularly in a long period of time. Dental treatments are performed much more easily and in a shorter time period by means of preventing gingival bleeding with this way during fillings.

After the procedure children are referred to their home after resting in recreation room under supervision for 1-2 hours with their family. Children who are going to school may continue their school the day after the operation.The most important thing to be careful about is to continue brushing in a regular and proper manner. It should be kept in mind that parents should play an active role in tooth brushing of their children until the age of 7-8 years old.

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