Pediatric dentistry requires special considerations when it comes to anesthesia. It's important for parents to understand the different types of anesthesia available and the risks associated with each. General anesthesia is the most common option for young children who are more anxious or have extensive treatment needs. This type of anesthesia is administered through an intravenous route, allowing for quick and direct access of medications to the child's bloodstream.
The child will sleep through the procedure and won't remember it. While increasing the depth of sedation increases the chances of an adverse reaction, many consider this option to be the “mildest and most predictable”. The cost tends to be similar to that of oral sedation if more than 1 to 2 oral sedation visits are needed. However, since all treatment is done in a single session (as opposed to between 4 and 5 visits with conscious sedation), once the cost of missing work is calculated, intravenous sedation may be more cost-effective.
It's important for parents to ask their pediatric dentist questions about their child's dental treatment and the type of anesthesia that will be used. It's also important to understand the risks associated with each type of anesthesia and how they can be minimized. Parents should also discuss any concerns they have with their pediatric dentist before any procedure is performed.