Anesthesiologist Questions Dental anesthesia

Are children given anesthesia for cavity fillings?

My daughter has a dentist appointment this upcoming week because she needs to have two cavities filled. Will she be given anesthesia?? I don't want her to feel any pain, especially since she's only 9-years-old.

10 Answers

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas
This depends on the size of the lesion, however, if the treating dentist is going to touch the tooth with a drill, it is my opinion that they will use anesthesia. It is as important to us as it is to the patient that you have a pain-free experience. To answer this question more appropriately, I would need to see the patient's radiographs and/or lesions, so this is a question that is best directed to the treating dental professional.
Yes she would get anesthesia if they are deep cavities.
Although I cannot speak for the dentist, I am sure that your dentist will do everything possible to minimize any discomfort during the procedure, including pleasant music, sedation (such as anesthesia), etc. Please discuss this with your dentist as soon as possible, so that you and your child can be relaxed and reassured before the day of the procedure.
Not usually - the dentist will administer local anesthesia. For severely mentally handicapped children, an anesthetic may be required; not for normal children, especially 9 years old.
Yes if she is in good health and not allergic to local anesthetic such as Lidocaine or Novocain the dentist will likely numb the gum area with local anesthetic swab then inject the anesthetic to numb the area. Most children tolerate this well but some very fearful patients depending on the office facility and personnel may use a form of mild sedation before the procedure. Talk this over with the dentist to determine what will work best in their opinion and minimize the discomfort

Marc A Morales MD
Most school-age children, such as your daughter, do not require any special medication. She should get the same local anesthetic ("numbing medicine") that you would get for the same procedure. There is no need for sedation or general anesthesia for routine dental work, including fillings.
This depends on where she is treated. Personally, I would NEVER let my kids be sedated in a dental office unless an anesthesiologist was overseeing the sedation. Check out

Lots of horror stories from dental offices. By that age, we told our kids to suck it up and take a lidocaine injection. Better yet, if they are baby teeth, let them fall out. Make her brush her teeth and rinse with a mouthwash.
If needed, yes. It would be better if the child can hold still, but sometimes this is not possible and the child needs an anesthetic.
It depends on the caivity. Sometimes, anesthesia is not necessary. Other times, it's the only way to properly fix the tooth. However, done carefully, and in the proper setting, your child will feel nothing more than a small "scratch" from the anesthesia, if aything at all!