M. K. Čiurlionio g. 19 Vilnius +370 644 77447
M. K. Čiurlionio g. 19 Vilnius +370 644 77447
Amicus Dentis | General anaesthesia (narcosis)

General anaesthesia (narcosis)

Before the anaesthesia

Usually for children, teeth are treated or extracted using local anaesthesia (numbing the tooth). Procedures may also be done under sedation, by giving to take some medicines orally. Then children are more relaxed, less anxious.

However, for some children, especially those younger than 6 years old or those with many bad teeth, the only solution is general anaesthesia (narcosis).

No eating is allowed 6 hrs before the procedure and drinking 2 hrs before. If the patient takes medication, you must inform the anaesthetist. Clothes should be comfortable. It the patient caught a cold, has a sore throat, cough, fever, stomach ache or has any other acute illness, please call the reception and inform us at 8 644 77447. We recommend not brushing teeth before the procedure so as not to swallow any water.

If you have any doubts about your child’s health, call the clinic before your visit.

What parents should tell their child before anaesthesia

That depends on your child’s age and your opinion on what your child will understand. A five-year-old might be afraid to “sleep” during the procedure or be anxious about the pain after the procedure.

You should tell your child that some of his teeth are bad and need to be taken out or fixed. Tell your child the doctor will give him some medicine and when they sleep, their teeth will be fixed. The doctor will be by their side all the time, during the procedure and afterwards. Also the doctor will give some medicine for the pain. Older children will want to know more. Encourage them to talk about it. Books, games and stories might help tell some about the procedure. Your child will not remember the procedure, only tell them positive things, do not tell them they cried, were in pain, etc.

What is general anaesthesia?

General anaesthesia (narcosis) is a controlled state, induced using anaesthetics. The patient is asleep and feels no pain. After tooth treatment, anaesthetics are stopped and your child wakes up.


Anaesthetics are medicines (injectable and gas) used to induce and maintain anaesthesia. Medicines used may include:

  • Medical gas breathed through a mask covering mouth and nose. When your child is asleep, an intravenous catheter is introduced and an infusion system (drip) is connected
  • Injection through an intravenous catheter. Catheter is introduced into a vein before your child is asleep. Anaesthetic cream may be applied onto the injection site beforehand.

If your child had any unpleasant experience with anaesthesia before, tell your anaesthetist.

Who can undergo general anaesthesia?

Children who are afraid to go to the dentist, do not tolerate treatment or are uncooperative.

Who cannot undergo general anaesthesia?

Those sensitive (allergic) to anaesthetics or patients with certain central nervous system illnesses or other severe illnesses. Patients with an acute infection (cold), fever.

Is general anaesthesia safe?

Using modern general anaesthesia, risk of severe problems is minimal.

Risk cannot be excluded completely, but when the patient is healthy, is feeling well, and the procedure is not extensive (most dental procedures are not), risk of life-threatening complications is 1:400,000. The risk is lower than probability of being severely injured during a car accident.

Are children with concurrent disease in higher risk?

Yes, risk is higher, therefore the benefit of tooth treatment must outweigh the risk. Every child is evaluated individually, therefore it is possible to accommodate to their needs.

Who can perform general anaesthesia?

Only an anaesthetist may perform general anaesthesia in a licenced clinic. The anaesthetist performs the anaesthesia, monitors the patient during and after the procedure. It is best for the anaesthetist to have experience working with children during dental procedures.

How long will my child be asleep?

It depends on the procedure.

Waking up takes longer after a long procedure, as more anaesthetic is used. Usually it takes 15-20 minutes.

Will painkillers be used?

Usually children receive painkillers using one or several of these methods:

  • Take painkillers orally before the procedure
  • Painkiller suppositories are introduced under anaesthesia
  • Painkillers are injected though the catheter
  • Local anaesthetic is injected by the tooth to be treated or extracted It is performed when your child is asleep during general anaesthesia.

If the child is in pain after the procedure, additional painkillers are prescribed.

Can I be along with my child?

At the beginning of the procedure, before the child goes asleep, one of the parents stays with the child. When the child is sleeping, parents are asked to wait in the waiting room. After the procedure, when the child is beginning to wake up, parents are invited back.

How do children feel after general anaesthesia?

After waking up from general anaesthesia, your child may be confused and cry for a short while.

Sometimes (especially after a tooth extraction) there may be the taste of blood in the mouth, which may not be pleasant for your child. If local anaesthesia was performed, children may not like the numbness in the mouth. Also they may be in some pain. In that case, some additional painkillers are administered. All these things may affect your child’s mood, they may be irritable, upset. Your child may be dizzy, sleepy for a while. Sometimes there may be some nausea/vomiting, especially is blood is swallowed. During anaesthesia, a catheter is placed into a vein, which is covered in dressing after the procedure, but left in place in case nausea or pain medication is needed. Before discharging the patient, the catheter is removed. Most children wake up quickly and may have something to drink.

After general anaesthesia

Monitoring in the wake-up room may take up to 2 hours, afterwards the patient may go home.

You may give your child regular food at home. Easily digested foods are recommended (yoghurt, porridge, bananas). If the doctor prescribed painkillers at regular intervals, you should give your child the medication before any pain emerges.

If you have any questions, call the clinic at 8 644 77447.

After work hours, go to the emergency room.

Can I take my child to kindergarten/school the same day?

Usually children should rest at home. Although after the effect of anaesthetics children may seem fine, it is recommended to monitor them, not let them ride a bicycle, run, etc., so they do not get hurt.

Questions for the anaesthetist:

  • Who will perform general anaesthesia (narcosis) on my child?
  • Are there alternatives to general anaesthesia?
  • How often is this method used?
  • What is the risk of general anaesthesia?
  • Is my child in higher risk?
  • How will my child feel after general anaesthesia?

Friend of your teeth, Amicus Dentis