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A 32-year-old member asked:

should a 5 year child undergo general anesthesia for cavity filling if he won't cooperate?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Welker
General Surgery 27 years experience
Yes, if it's bad: Pediatric dentists bring children to the hospital regularly to do procedures under general anesthesia when it's called for. It's up to your dentist to refer you to a pediatric specialist in this case. Talk to your dentist about it!
Dr. Stephen Calendine
Dentistry 34 years experience
Agree that pediatric dentists can do OR dentistry or often times sedation for uncooperative patients in the Dr's. office with an oral cocktail or even nitrous oxide(laughing gas). OR is usually when there are multiple problems to treat
Dec 16, 2014
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Specializes in Pediatrics
Depends: Many children with special needs are not able to understand and cooperate for local for filling a cavity or have multiple cavities tat are best addressed under general anesthesia. Not every child needs such an aggressive approach. It really depends on the child and severity of the problem. This is worth talking with your dentist and pediatrician about.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology 30 years experience
Your choice: If the child won't cooperate with the dentist you will be offered the option of sedation dentistry to handle the problem. This is a very safe thing to do, but it is your choice as to wether it should be done. You have to weight the risks of anesthesia against the result of not treating the cavity.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
Yes, many children: In my developmental/behavioral practice require conscious sedation or anesthesia for teeth-cleaning or repair by a pediodontist in an outpatient surgery center after a medical & family history & pre-op physical clear them for surgery. Chronic decay can lead to pain & infection that can get to other organs thru the bloodstream. Pre-op antibiotics are given to kids with structural heart defects.

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