Intravenous Procedural Sedation: An Alternative to General Anesthesia in the Treatment of Early Childhood Caries

May 1, 2003
Providing comprehensive dental treatment for preschool children with early childhood caries (ECC) is probably the greatest challenge facing most dentists; many elect to hospitalize a child with ECC and provide treatment under general anesthesia. However, as waiting lists for hospital admission are long, ECC continues to progress and can cause pain or acute infection. Hospital treatment also results in substantial costs beyond those for dental treatment. This paper describes a cost-effective intravenous sedation program being used in a pediatric dental practice in Kelowna, British Columbia. The program offers an alternative to general anesthesia that allows qualified dentists to provide comprehensive dental treatment to children with ECC safely and efficiently in the private practice setting.