Hospital dentistry is the use of a general anesthetic in a hospital setting to induce a child into an unconscious state so they are not awake during a dental procedure. This is similar to the administration of IV sedation in the dental office.
However, you will be completely unconscious so you will not be aware of any of your surroundings and you will not feel or perceive anything. It will be like your child is asleep and then they wake up to find it’s all over and they have no memory of anything.
Your child needs to be in good overall health to be a good candidate for hospital dentistry.
General anesthesia is very useful for children who suffer from dental anxiety because they do not need to witness any of the dental work that can be very traumatizing to them if they already have a prior bad experience or extreme fear of drills, needles, or just dental work in general.
Those with special needs can also greatly benefit from this because these children may have difficulty sitting still for long periods, feel uncomfortable, or have a low pain tolerance. Anesthesia eliminates pain sensations and enables us to keep your child’s mouth open for longer than may be comfortable when they are conscious.
Children who have trouble sitting still may benefit from sedation. This enables Dr. Azer to get more work done in less time. Those with strong gag reflexes can also benefit because sedation suppresses the gag reflex so we can work in the back of the mouth without producing a reaction that would prevent effective and timely treatment.
Hospital dentistry is often used for treatments such as the removal of impacted teeth.
Sedation is often used for more complex and invasive procedures like oral surgery which have a higher likelihood of discomfort or distress in children. However, hospital dentistry is not limited to invasive or complex treatments. If your child has severe dental anxiety, special needs, or needs to undergo a long treatment.
Anytime your child receives a sedative medication, there is some level of risk involved. The deeper the sedation, the greater the associated risk. However, general anesthesia is generally extremely safe, and serious side effects or complications are very rare in healthy patients.
This is why we always review your child’s medical history before approving them as a candidate for hospital dentistry. Your child is in good hands in a hospital environment with a professional anesthesiologist and we will monitor your child’s vitals like their breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure the entire time.
If you have any questions or concerns, the anesthesiologist can address them to put you at ease. We want you to be informed before your child undergoes any procedure. Under the care of a professional and experienced dentist as well as medical professionals, you do not have anything to worry about. Contact us at Pediatric Dentistry of Horizon West to schedule a consultation with and find out if hospital dentistry is right for your child.
The effects of general anesthesia can linger for up to 24 hours.