General Anesthesia / Hospital Dentistry in NJ


Pediatric Services

Tender Smiles 4 Kids provides general anesthesia when needed for certain procedures and situations. Contact us at one of our convenient locations to schedule a consultation.

Some dental procedures require general anesthesia. This means that the patient is put to sleep in a hospital setting. General anesthesia is often the best option for patients undergoing complex dental surgery and those with severe anxiety or special needs.

What is General Anesthesia?

Patients are put under general anesthesia through a combination of intravenous medication and inhaled gasses. The patient is so deeply unconscious that it is necessary for breathing to be aided by medical machinery. An anesthesiologist, a medical professional who specializes in general anesthesia, will administer the medication. General anesthesia is administered in a hospital setting in order to carefully monitor the patient’s vitals.

Why General Anesthesia is Used

Not every dental procedure or every patient will require general anesthesia. It is used in some specific cases for a variety of reasons, such as: 

  • Complex procedures. If the procedure being performed is particularly complicated, it can be better for the patient to go under general anesthesia. 
  • Invasive procedures. Some procedures are highly invasive, such as jaw surgery and other oral surgeries. General anesthesia is safer for the patient in these situations. 
  • Long procedures. General anesthesia is often the best option for lengthy procedures that would otherwise be uncomfortable or tiresome for the patient. 
  • Special needs patients. Patients who have special needs, such as severe dental anxiety, autism, mental/emotional disorders, physical disabilities, or other extraordinary circumstances can benefit from general anesthesia for dental procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions About General Anesthesia

Is General Anesthesia Safe for Children?

General anesthesia is safe for most children in most cases. A complete medical history and evaluation will be done to determine whether or not it is safe for a child to undergo general anesthesia before any dental procedures are planned.

What Should My Child Wear to the Procedure?

Dress your child in loose, comfortable clothing with short sleeves. In some cases, they may wear their own clothes and in other cases, they may wear a hospital gown. If the child will be staying overnight in the hospital, they may want their own pajamas or slippers.

Why is a Hospital Stay Required for General Anesthesia?

Because the level of sedation is so deep, a patient under general anesthesia requires assistance with breathing, which is done with medical machines. It is also necessary to carefully monitor the patient’s vitals in a hospital setting where medical intervention can be quickly applied if necessary.

What After Effects Can I Expect?

General anesthesia affects all patients differently. It is typically for your child to feel sleepy or groggy for a while after coming off of anesthesia. Nausea and vomiting are also common, as well as headache and sore throat from the gasses and breathing tube used in the administration of the anesthesia.

Will the Procedure Be Performed By My Dentist?

Although the procedure will need to be done at the hospital, your dentist/oral surgeon will be the one performing the procedure. An anesthesiologist will be the one to administer the anesthesia, but the dental work or surgery will be done by the dentist you’ve been seeing at your Tender Smiles branch.

Contact us at one of our convenient Tender Smiles 4 Kids locations to schedule an appointment.