Here is a question we get asked frequently at Dentistry for Children from parents seeking a second opinion:
“Is general anesthesia really the only option for treating my child?”
Answer: Many times there are other approaches available for care.
One option is to place a temporary material over a cavity to slow the advancement while gaining trust and confidence with a patient. If a child progresses in being comfortable in our office over time, and the cavities have not significantly enlarged, then treatment may be completed as a routine patient.
Another possible option is to use laughing gas, possibly with a mild sedative. If a patient is nervous but somewhat cooperative, then they may be a candidate for that approach.
There are times when anesthesia is the best choice. If treatment is very extensive, if a patient is very young or they are extremely apprehensive then anesthesia can certainly be justified. We provide in-office anesthesia with 2 highly skilled anesthesiologists and have been offering that option in our location for over 18 years. Providing care in our local hospital outpatient facility is also available.
The bottom line is that we want to give parents as many realistic options as possible and come to a decision on treatment with the parents input! We have many years of experience so have lots of “tools in the tool kit” when it comes to caring for children.