General Anesthesia in Fort McMurray
When children cannot be treated by their regular dentist, sometimes general anesthesia may be recommended. Our office specializes in sedation dentistry for pediatric patients.
What is General Anesthesia?
General Anesthesia is a medical term used for types of medication that is given to a patient before undergoing a procedure or surgery. Some people refer to general anesthesia as briefly being “put to sleep”. An Anesthesiologist (a specialist doctor), will give specific medications to cause the patient to “fall asleep”, or become unconscious, where they do not feel pain, see or hear anything during the procedure. After the patient is asleep, a temporary breathing tube is placed either in the mouth or the nose for the duration of the procedure.
What is an Anesthesiologist?
An Anesthesiologist is a medical doctor who has done advanced specialized training in the field of anesthesia. This means that the doctor is trained to give anesthetic medications. This will not be the doctor or dentist performing the procedure. The sole responsibility of the Anesthesiologist is to administer medication to help with pain while supporting breathing. The balance between safety and comfort of the patient is the Anesthesiologists main priority during the procedure. In the recovery room, they also ensure that the patient’s pain and nausea are well managed by the Recovery Room Nurses.
When will we recommend General Anesthesia for Pediatric Dentistry?
Children who may experience high levels of fear, anxiety or nervousness about having dental procedures completed would be good candidates for general anesthesia. General anesthesia would also be suitable for children requiring extensive dental work, for children who may not be able to tolerate sitting in a dental chair for long periods of time, or for children who require multiple dental visits. Once the child is “put to sleep” by trained specialized professionals, the Pediatric Dentist and team can perform multiple procedures and extensive dental work in one appointment safely.
How do we put a child under General Anesthesia?
Once the child has been appropriately assessed by the Registered Nurse, Anesthesiologist and the Pediatric Dentist, the child along with their parent or guardian, are escorted into the Operating Room. With the parent or guardian at the child’s side, the Anesthesiologist will place a mask over the child’s mouth and nose so that they start to breathe in the medication and “fall asleep”. Once the child has started to fall asleep, the parent will be escorted out into the reception area of the clinic and will be provided with an update during the procedure. After the child is asleep and not feeling pain, the intravenous will be inserted and the breathing tube will be placed. The Anesthesiologist will continue to provide medication and monitoring throughout the duration of the procedure. At the end of the procedure the child will start to wake up, the breathing tube will be removed and the patient will go into the Recovery Room where they are closely monitored by the Registered Nurses. Once the effects of anesthesia are resolving, upon the nurses discretion, the parent or guardian will be brought back to the Recovery Room to reunite with their child. Discharge teaching and information will be provided by the nurses at the end of the stay in Recovery.
Who provides General Anesthesia in our office?
The only healthcare professional administering General Anesthesia at Timberlea Services Center will be our Anesthesiologists. The General Anesthesia will not be performed by any other healthcare professional including Dentists, Surgeons, or Nurses.
What members of the team are present when your child is having General Anesthesia?
The Anesthesiologist is responsible for the safety, monitoring and administration of medications throughout the procedure. The Pediatric Dentist and two Dental Assistants will be responsible for the dental procedure or surgery. Two Registered Nurses with advanced training in caring for the pediatric population will also be present to support any needs during the procedure as well as monitoring and caring for the children in the Recovery Room. Together, all disciplines of the team at Timberlea Services Centre work to provide the best care for your child the day of their procedure.
Are there alternatives to General Anesthesia for children?
After the consultation by the Pediatric Dentist and the Dental Assistant options for other types of sedation such as Nitrous Oxide or “laughing gas” may be discussed. Children who have minor tooth decay, mild anxiety and can tolerate sitting in a chair for dental procedures may be a good candidate for this. Please see our section on Nitrous Oxide for more information.