Pediatric Dental Procedures Under General Anesthesia

Pediatric dental procedures performed with sedation can be nerve-racking, especially if your child has severe dental anxiety. That’s why the friendly professionals at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry will discuss all options with you and help you choose the best one for your child, including nitrous oxide or general anesthesia.

These options apply to procedures beyond regular dental exams. If your child is nervous about their regularly scheduled cleaning, please reach out to our office.

Pediatric Dental Procedures Under General Anesthesia

Choosing the Best Sedation Option for Your Child

Nitrous Oxide

Often, a nervous child or squirmy toddler will need nitrous oxide — also called laughing gas — to relax during a procedure like a cavity filling. It’s a safe option that works quickly and leaves the body quickly.

Before we use nitrous oxide, please let us know if:

  • Your child has experienced any breathing issues
  • Your child’s health or medication has changed

General Anesthesia

We don’t use conscious or oral sedation that merely makes a patient drowsy. For lengthy procedures and special circumstances, we recommend general anesthesia to keep your child safe throughout the procedure. This may include filling multiple cavities, crowns, or emergency dental work.

If we need to use general anesthesia for your child, we will help you prepare for both the sedation and anesthesia care. We’ll conduct a physical evaluation and ask about any changes in your child’s health or medicines prior to using anesthetic.

Procedures that require general anesthesia will be performed at your local hospital rather than our office in Wilson. A nurse from the hospital will reach out to schedule your child’s procedure, and trained child care nurses will tend to and be by your child’s’ side during anesthesia administration. You’ll also receive detailed before and after instructions, including:

  • Your child may only have clear liquids up to 6 hours before the procedure — no food.
  • Parents are not allowed in the operating room, but you will be able to remain with them up until time for the procedure.
  • You’ll stay at the hospital until the effects of anesthesia are minimal.
  • You should watch your drowsy child closely while the medication wears off.
  • Your child may sleep, but wake them periodically for a drink of water.

We’ll be available at an emergency number in case of concerns or complications.

Let us help you maintain your child’s oral health without distress. Schedule your child’s appointment today.