Sedating children for dental work
Parents whose sedated children died during dental procedures often say they were unaware that death was a possibility.And while there may have been a consent form including that danger, many don’t absorb the information in the dentist’s office, Friedman said. Be sure the doctor doesn't understate the anesthesia being given.Sibert would have no problem with her grandsons having a procedure in a dentist's office if all it would require is “local anesthesia, nitrous, and cartoons.” Kids can come out of sedation a little slower than adults and need prolonged observation, Swanson said.Before you go home, make sure your child is no longer sedated — he’s not falling asleep and not slowing his breathing, Swanson noted.Ultimately Friedman isn’t convinced that the benefits of sedation outweigh the risks.“In my opinion, there’s no excuse to give any of these kids general anesthesia,” he said.
For those under the age of 2, I would recommend anesthesia be done in a hospital setting." Before child undergoes any serious dental procedure: Parents should ask questions until they have no more, and they should always feel they have all the information they need to give consent for an elective procedure, said pediatrician Swanson. What procedure are you going to do and do you have to do it? It also is appropriate to ask about the office's safety record, he added. Are you going to use a Papoose Board — a temporary restraint? “Get a second opinion if it's not a crisis — and very little dental work is a crisis,” Sibert added.
The dentist sedated Daleyza to keep the toddler from wriggling while she was getting crowns and having a tooth pulled. Now, Araceli wants to warn other parents about the dangers that she wasn’t aware of.
“I’m looking for justice so what happened doesn’t happen to other mothers,” she told Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA.
The danger isn't from local anesthesia such as Novocain or numbing gels.
General anesthesia —when the patient is unconscious — can be risky in young children and some dentists may not recognize the danger quickly enough, said Dr.
Karen Sibert, an associate clinical professor of anesthesiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.