Most children often experience stress and anxiety during dental treatment, which can cause problems. Parents avoid taking their young children to the dentist because they think they will not cope well in the dental chair and not be able to have any treatment done. Older children may refuse to go to the dentist due to fear of the unknown.
For this reason, the first experience of the child in the dental office is very important. The dentist should devote more time to the child or create a pleasant feeling by arranging various games to touch dental tools and equipment.
The importance of preserving baby teeth
Baby teeth play an essential role in the child’s growth and development. The premature loss of these teeth causes disorders in speech, eating, jaw growth, permanent tooth order, and mental development. In case of premature loss of anterior deciduous teeth, the pronunciation of some letters will be disturbed.
Do all children need dental treatment with sedation or anesthesia?
Children who do not cooperate with the dentist due to their young age may need sedation for dental treatment. In very young children if there are very small caries in the tooth, the dentist may use preventive measures such as Fluoride gel, Tooth mousse to try to slow down the caries process until the child is older to cope with treatment in the chair, However, if the tooth has abscesses and pain, and treatment is required urgently, then sedation needs to be considered for these little ones.
Children with mental and motor disabilities who cannot cope with dental treatment in the dental chair.
Types of dental sedation
- Deep sedation/twilight sedation/ IV sedation
- Oral sedation
- General anesthesia
Deep sedation/ twilight sedation/ IV sedation:
In this type of treatment, the child is deeply sedated by the anesthesiologist, but the child can breathe and swallow by him/herself. This method is done by IV injection, and the advantage of this method over oral sedative is the longer time of treatment.
In this method, oral sedatives are used by considering the child’s age and weight. The main purpose is to reduce the patient’s stress and tension. This method has been used in medical services for many years.
It is important to note, in Australia oral and IV sedation are not used very often.
In this method, the anesthesiologist completely anesthetizes the child, and the dentist has more time to work on the child’s teeth and repairs more teeth. see sleep dentistry for children in Brisbane.
During anesthesia, the patient’s level of consciousness decreases, and the child does not remember what happened during the operation; besides, they do not feel any pain and have no movement. This situation allows the dentist to do the necessary with ease and more concentration
What are the advantages of general anesthesia in children?
When the child is unable to cooperate with the dentist for any reason, general anesthesia is recommended so that dental treatment can be performed to prevent abscesses and infection.
Another advantage of dental procedures under anesthesia is that all the procedures can be performed in one session.
The dentist can perform ideal treatment in an ideal environment and dental restorations will last longer and there will be less need for re-treatment.
What are the disadvantages of general anesthesia for 2-year-old children?
The duration and number of times of anesthesia are very important to dentists. Anesthesia less than 2 hours does not pose any risks, but anesthesia more than 3 hours increases in children under the age of 2 may influence cognitive development. We also prefer to delay dental treatment in children as much as possible using fluoride therapy and complete health education to parents until the child grows up and their cooperation increases. This is possible when caries and dental infections are minimal. In a child less than two years old, who has many teeth abscesses and infections, the infections must be removed as soon as possible.
These infections can cause several problems for a child:
1- Damage permanent teeth located under deciduous teeth.
2- These infections may enter the child’s whole body through blood vessels at the end of the roots and cause damage to various organs of the body, including the brain, liver, and kidney.
3- Severe pain, interference with sleep and feeding. Dentists always care about your child’s health and do not recommend general anesthesia to the parents unless the child’s health is at risk.
Who performs dental treatment under anesthesia?
A paediatric dentist must perform the dental treatment required which may be filings, pulp/nerve treatment, stainless steel crowns, composite crowns, zirconia crowns and extractions. An anesthesiologist and anesthetic technician must be present throughout the procedure and recovery. Registered nurses are always present to help with the anesthesia, record patients’ vital signs and help in recovery.
Where should the dental treatment be performed under general anesthesia?
Only fully equipped, licensed, and approved centres are safe to perform dental treatment under general anaesthesia.
Tips for general anesthesia
- It is recommended that you have had a consult with your dentist.
- Consult an anesthesiologist before the treatment.
- Delay the treatment if your child has a cold or a disease that affects their respiratory system.
- Usually, a 6-hour fasting time is necessary.
If your child has a history of any diseases, make sure to consult an anesthesiologist.
Post-anesthesia care for children
- Symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, chills, urinary incontinence, and drowsiness after anesthesia are usual.
- Parents should give plenty of fluids to the child after they regain consciousness.
- Children should get enough rest after regaining consciousness.
- Maintaining good oral hygiene after treatment is especially important.
Does a dental procedure under general anesthesia require hospitalization overnight?
In most cases, dental procedures are performed as day surgery. This means that your child will be admitted to the hospital in the morning and once the treatment is completed and they have recovered from the general anaesthesia they can go home within a few hours. In very rare cases the anesthesiologist might need to keep your child in the hospital for longer to make sure it is safe to discharge them.
It is important to note that your dentist will offer treatment under general anaesthesia only after weighing the benefits versus risks for your child