It’s exciting when we take our children to their pediatric dentist and find that they’re not at all frightened or nervous by a dentist’s office atmosphere. Of course, we know that there’s nothing at all to be worried about, but sometimes we can’t pass that sense of security onto our kids. After all, a dentist’s office is full of sounds and scents that are unfamiliar. As much as Timp makes sure to make the presence of our office fun, comforting, and inviting, some children take more time to grow comfortable with us.
Their fear, of course, shouldn’t stop your children from receiving the dental care they need at this age. For this reason, we offer oral sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia during their appointment. General Anesthesia will put your child gently to sleep, while our technicians carefully watch your child while they’re undergoing dental cleanings or a larger procedure.
Is Your Child Undergoing Serious Dental Work?
Know that your child’s appointment will be longer or that the dentist will be working on multiple teeth? General anesthesia can help lessen the stress of your child while they undergo several procedures. Although they might be completely fine during x-rays and general cleanings, drilling and extractions can be another story. Although oral sedation is always an option, it sometimes isn’t enough to lessen their anxiety completely.
If the dental work your child is undergoing involves multiple procedures like drilling and crown placements, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist about ways to keep your child comfortable during the entire process.
Keeping Your Child Safe and Comfortable
Some parents ask if general anesthesia is worth the effort and the cost. We’d say it most definitely is. Using general anesthesia during their appointment can help their dentist and technicians to perform procedures far quicker than they might have otherwise. It may also save your child from the emotional trauma of fear and struggle during a procedure.
As anesthesia medications have a slight amnesia effect, your child isn’t likely to remember much about their time in the dentist’s chair. Although we always recommend letting your child become well acquainted with the dentist’s office, time spent here should be associated with positive emotions. This is an important time to make those associations that your child may carry with them into their adulthood. Make sure that those “bigger and scarier” moments aren’t so big and scary.
How is the Procedure Performed and Overseen?
Of course, as a parent, you want to make sure your child is safe in our hands. General anesthesia can even make parents uncomfortable. If you’re feeling uncertain about what to do, keep in mind that a dental anesthesiologist is present to administer and monitor your child the entire time they are under anesthesia. However, we understand that this option, as rewarding as it can make an experience, can be costly. We urge parents to do their research as well as contact their insurance company about the coverage and costs of general anesthesia.
Is it the Right Option for Your Child?
We often talk to parents who are uncertain as to whether or not their child will benefit from this option. In most cases, we (and likely you as a parent) can tell when your toddler or a younger child who is exhibiting extreme discomfort or fear. In many cases, older children exhibit even more fear due to earlier treatments that may have brought them intense discomfort. If their fear is clear, we highly recommend general anesthesia. If your older child is communicating their fear, talk to them about this option.
Doing so can give you and your child the freedom to undergo those important dental procedures and even checkups without major stress and panic. By avoiding potential trauma at a younger age, it’s more likely that your child will grow out of this common fear, no longer needing the option of general anesthesia in the future. Want to learn more, or have questions for our team? Don’t hesitate to call Timpanogos Pediatric Dentistry today! We’re here to make sure your child is happy and safe in our care.