Dental General Anesthesia

What is dental general anesthesia?

Dental general anesthesia is a procedure where a patient is put to sleep by an anesthesiologist prior to a dental surgery or comprehensive oral rehabilitation. Dentists use general anesthesia for a variety of procedures including restorative dentistry, removing teeth, performing root canals, etc.

What happens during the procedure?

  1. General anesthesia is delivered and monitored by a medical doctor who specializes in anesthesia. 
  2. Prior to the procedure either a solution, pill or injection may be administered to the patient to decrease anxiety levels.
  3. Next a mask is used to deliver anesthetic gases which leads the patient to lose consciousness.
  4. A combination of medications are administered intravenously so that the patient remains asleep throughout the procedure.

Is any special preparation needed?

The patient must follow the doctor’s preoperative recommendations. These include avoiding certain foods, drinks and medications prior to the procedure depending on the age and medical history. 

What are the risk associated with dental general anesthesia?

Complications from dental general anesthesia are rare. These include sore throat; be groggy or disoriented; and nausea and vomiting upon waking from the anesthesia. Allergic reactions to anesthesia can occur in some patients.

Reviewed by: Oscar Arevalo, DDS

This page was last updated on: June 24, 2021 11:51 AM

Children's Dental Services

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital pediatric dentistry facilities meet the unique needs of healthy infants, children, and adolescents, while also addressing the special concerns of patients with complex medical and dental issues.

Learn more

Weekly Support Programs

Nicklaus Children's Dental Mobile Unit

The 40-foot mobile unit is Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s latest endeavor to assist families in need as part of its vision “to be where the children are” in South Florida and beyond. In addition to screenings and exams, services can include varnish treatments, dental sealants, oral and health hygiene education as well as referrals for follow-up oral treatment, to underserved families of children who do not have dental insurance. Learn more.