General Anesthesia

General anesthesia services are offered at Bright Smiles Kids Dentistry for select procedures. Please review the information below.

What is General Anesthesia?

General anesthesia is the state of pharmacologically induced “sleep”. When you are told that someone will need to be “asleep” for a procedure, often surgical, this is a reference to being placed under general anesthesia. The aim of general anesthesia administration is to provide a lack of sensation and to ensure amnesia (no memory) and analgesia (no pain).

The When, Why and Who’s of Administering Anesthesia

General anesthesia may be recommended for a person for several reasons. Most commonly in our pediatric dental office, general anesthesia is recommended when a child is very young, very fearful, uncooperative or has special circumstances that will not allow them to cooperate for needed treatment. Often, when general anesthesia is recommended, there is a large amount of dental treatment needed or the procedure is too long or uncomfortable to be tolerated by the patient in an awake state.

It is our goal to provide safe, excellent care (in that order) and to provide a non-traumatic experience for our patients. Sometimes, this is only possible through the use of general anesthesia. Pediatric dentist Dr. Bradley Cox is highly trained in the field of outpatient dental anesthesia.

What are the eating restrictions prior to general anesthesia?

The patient that is to receive general anesthesia for an elective procedure must follow the American Society of Anesthesiologists guidelines for pre-operative fasting. No food is to be eaten for eight hours prior to the anesthesia time. Clear liquids (water, apple juice) may be consumed up to two hours prior to the time of anesthesia. If there is a doubt as to whether something is a clear liquid or not, it is better to withhold it to avoid cancellation of the procedure. Breast milk may be consumed up until four hours prior to the procedure. It is extremely important to follow these guidelines to avoid unnecessary cancellation of the procedure.

How safe is general anesthesia?

General anesthesia is commonly employed in the outpatient environment. It is used frequently in most pediatric dental offices to treat specific types of patients. Outpatient general anesthesia is considered very safe and has an excellent safety record in the pediatric dental office when administered by qualified and experienced providers, such as Dr. Cox.

Does my child HAVE to have general anesthesia for their care?

Emphatically no. Only a parent or guardian can decide if their child MUST receive care utilizing the method of general anesthesia. Our treatment team respects the rights of a parent or guardian to decide this for their child. Our goal is to support parents in making the best decision for their child.

If you have additional questions about general anesthesia, feel free to contact our office.