Is Dental Anesthesia Safe For Children?

December 12, 2013 by Dr. Emanuel Layliev Blog


Fear of the dentist is so common that it’s known by several names, including dentophobia, dental phobia, and odontophobia. For obvious reasons, children are far more likely to dread seeing the dentist than grownups are. Even so, it is only when this fear inhibits his/her ability to complete a necessary procedure that a dentist might recommend anesthesia.

What are the risks?

Although rare, medical complications can occur anytime a patient is put under. Those risks increase based on the type and amount of sedation that is used and with the length of time. But before a dentist will ever suggest sedation, he/she will carefully examine the patient’s medical history for potential problems.  If there is any increased risk based on existing medical issues, they will explore other options.

What are the benefits?

Some kids have such an overwhelming fear of the dentist that they will simply not sit still during a routine dental procedure.  In these cases, the dentist may recommend a mild sedative that will put the child under for a short time. In other cases, the dental issue may be too painful for a young child to consciously endure. For example, dental cavities that are close to the nerve root require dental work that would make the average adult uneasy.

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