Sedating a child

Without data on deaths from all the state boards it’s impossible to determine where the problems are and how to fix them, Mashni said.“There’s really no legitimate oversight,” said Dr.Jay Friedman, a California-based dental consultant and author. You have to do something really bad before anything gets done about it.”In Friedman’s experience, many young children are being over-treated by their dentists.

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The staff should be prepared to recognize and respond to crisis situations.

It also is appropriate to ask about the office's safety record, he added.8. Instinct matters, so if you feel unsettled, consult another doctor, Swanson said.“Get a second opinion if it's not a crisis — and very little dental work is a crisis,” Sibert added.

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.“Children have small airways and they choke more easily than adults,” Sibert said.

According to a Dallas Morning News investigation in 2015, a dental patient dies nearly every other day in the United States.

That’s more than 1,000 people over the course of five-and-a-half years.

If your child is in the backseat for the car ride home, make sure there's someone who can be there beside him to watch him and make sure his airway doesn't get closed off or he doesn't slow his breathing while you’re driving home, Swanson said."There are events where children have had sedation, get in a car seat or a car, their respiratory rate goes down and they're just quiet and someone may not know," she noted.

Two adults accompanying a child are ideal for this situation.

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.

They should ask if it would be better to take the child to an ambulatory surgery center, where an anesthesiologist would be present.

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