Conscious Sedation in Children


Conscious Sedation and General Anesthesia in Pediatric Dentistry


What is the need for sedation and general anesthesia in pediatric dentistry?

Under certain circumstances a dentist encounter children who are very uncooperative for various reasons. for example this uncooperativeness can be because of fear of unknown previous traumatic dental experience mentally or physically handicapped children medically compromised children pampered adamant children fear of separation from the parents child with severe pain related to tooth or recent trauma fear of tooth removal etc..

Under these circumstances the dentist first tries to identify the cause for the inappropriate behaviour. Most often, once the cause is found the chances for providing dental treatment increases. When this is not possible and there is an URGENT NEED to provide dental treatment a pediatric dentist can opt for this kind of management.

What is conscious sedation and general anesthesia?

In conscious sedation the patient is fast asleep but not completely unconscious. These procedures are usually used for short dental procedures like one or two teeth removal or few fillings etc..

In general anesthesia the patient is completely unconscious and not aware of what is happening to her or him. Under general anesthesia one can perform extensive dental procedures like multiple extractions (tooth removal) ,multiple fillings ,root canal treatment, stainless steel crowns etc..

What are the primary objectives of these procedures?

  • The first and the most important objective is the psychological well being of a child. One traumatic dental experience at a younger age will last ones entire lifetime. If some untoward dental experience happens during young age ,the child is going to be aversive to dentistry throughout his or her lifetime.
  • The second objective is to provide highest quality dental care to children even though they are uncooperative. One cannot deny dental health just because the child is uncooperative. Every child has a fundamental right to obtain good oral health.

Are these procedures safe?

All patients must undergo a thorough physical examination by a physician or pediatrician, anesthetist evaluation, opinion from the concerned specialist (if the child has any other associated medical condition) ,and few investigations. Once the patient is evaluated well then the chances for any untoward instances are remote. Medical research has shown high degree of success using these procedures.

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