When are general anesthesia and sedation needed?

Since many practices of dentistry may cause pain, the anesthesia, which is roughly defined as absence of sensation, is an important aid. Under normal clinical conditions, a group of teeth or a site of chin can be anesthetized with local anesthesia to perform procedures without pain, such as filling a tooth, root canal therapy, and tooth extraction. However, this is not always enough because behaviors do not have an effect on the control of feelings such as fear and anxiety. Even if we don’t cause pain, we may force the capacity of a child and cause dental fear especially with increased number of visits. It is very important to keep the patient’s mouth open adequately, to comply with our commands and instructions, and not to give uncontrolled reactions in order to achieve a successful treatment as well as to protect the patient from getting injured by sharp instruments rotating at high speed. A child, who meets toothache and associated discomfort at a very small age but resists the treatment, can be a serious problem and source of distress to parents.

In brief, sedation and general anesthesia are useful practices for treatment of small children and fearful patients who cannot be controlled by behavioral instructions and suggestions as well as individuals with special physical and mental condition.

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