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Preparing Your Special Needs Child for Pediatric Dental Sedation & Anesthesia

Smile Reef

Special needs children often have to be sedated or require anesthesia to get their dental work done efficiently. When your child’s appointment approaches, it is natural for parents to become uneasy. There are many questions that come to mind and wanting to know what to expect when your child undergoes the anesthesia. How it is administered, how the child will experience the process, and how you should prepare for the procedure and take care of the child afterwards often top the list. There are many circumstances when anesthesia is utilized to help your child get the dental work they need to maintain healthy oral care. Today we at Smile Reef would like to elaborate on the use of the anesthesia.

Pediatric Dental Sedation Guidelines

Pediatric dentists that routinely care for children, especially those with special needs, often have an Anesthesiologist they use and trust to help them achieve their dental procedures. To help the child feel drowsy, the general anesthesiologist will give the child some oral medication first. From there, the child is put completely to sleep when the anesthesiologist starts an IV and administers the right dosage of drugs. While the pediatric dentist provides all necessary treatment, the anesthesiologist monitors the child’s breathing and vital signs once the child is completely asleep. The biggest advantage to the anesthesia is that they are sleeping throughout the dental procedures and they will not have any traumatizing association to getting dental work. In many instances the medications used will help the child forget about the whole event during the dental experience. All treatment, including x-rays, fillings, crowns, and cleanings can be done more efficiently while the child is asleep and immobile which helps the experience go by smoothly without the traumatic and seemingly scary activities going on around the child to be affected.

Preparing Your Child for Anesthesia

Generally, the dentists that suggest the help of an anesthesiologist will schedule the procedure coherent with both of their schedules. Instructions are frequently given to the parents on how to prepare the night before the procedure. A medical history and pertinent information is often asked prior to the appointment so that the right choice of anesthetic medicines is used to better fit the individual child’s needs. Typically, you will be instructed on what your child can eat or drink before the procedure. Usually, they are not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight. However, specific instructions based on your child’s age, medical condition, and the time of day of the procedure will be given. Eating is not allowed because of the effects anesthesia medicines have. The body normally has reflexes that prevent food from being aspirated, or inhaled, into the lungs when it’s swallowed or regurgitated, or thrown up. The medicines can suspend these reflexes, which could cause food to become inhaled into the lungs if there is vomiting or regurgitation under anesthesia. In some cases, clear liquids may be permitted, or specific medications may be given a few prior to the appointment. Answer the anesthesiologist’s questions as honestly and thoroughly as possible to ensure the child’s safety. What you may think is harmless can have poor interactions with the anesthesia.

Pediatric Dentistry

If you have any questions regarding the anesthesia, you have ample opportunity to consult the anesthesiologist. If you feel your child may batter benefit from being sedated for their dental procedure, make an appointment with Smile Reef today to discuss your child’s needs.

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