Anesthesia For Children


General Anesthesia in Pediatric Dentistry

There are multiple reasons why general anesthesia may be used in the process of your child’s oral care. Sometimes this can be for their own comfort and safety or simply to keep them from breaking down from fear or stress. Whatever the reason, general anesthesia in pediatric dentistry is normal and quite common. This means you have nothing to worry about if this gets mentioned during one of your child’s visits. Read on to learn more about the details of general anesthesia use in pediatric dentistry.

Why Would Anesthesia Be Used?

There are multiple reasons, just like with adults, that children may need the support of general anesthesia. For example, say a child needs to have a tooth taken out. Basic anesthesia is used in order to ensure that the child won’t feel any pain. On top of that, some of these procedures may scare children. Being able to use anesthesia means they will avoid that fear. They will be able to sleep through the entire process and wake up with no memory of what occurred. This means the child won’t be scarred for future visits to the dentist.

Sometimes, children will have a more exaggerated fear towards the dentist. This can often be labeled a phobia, or close to it. Children like this can have meltdowns along with other extreme behavior. There’s usually no reasoning or guiding children like this because it’s a mental phobia that isn’t just basic behavior. In order to help children like this, general anesthesia is used. This keeps them calm without breaking down which, if not kept in check, could result in harm to the child and the dental staff involved.

Basic Tips About Pediatric Anesthesia

There are a few things to take note of when anesthesia is involved with children.

  • They will most likely wait until the anesthesia has mostly worn off before releasing your child. This is so they can keep a close eye on their vitals and overall body response.
  • The dental staff will give you rules for the care of your child in connection to the anesthesia and it wearing off.
  • If anesthesia is being used, you will be given rules for your child to prep them for the use of it, usually starting 12 hours beforehand. This doesn’t mean you’ll be at the dentist 12 hours before it’s used on your child, they’ll just have you limit your child’s food and liquid intake so the use of the anesthesia will be smoother.

It can be a little scary to hear someone in the dental or medical field mention using anesthesia with your child. However, rest assured that the dentist wouldn’t recommend this if they weren’t positive about using it. Never be afraid to ask your dentist about other options if it makes you uncomfortable. Be aware that there might not be an alternative.


Your child’s dentist will give you their recommendations for your child’s orthodontic needs and when they should visit our pediatric orthodontist office in Queen Creek or any of our other 2 East Valley Locations.