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It may be possible to use deep sedation to produce satisfactory conditions for children having MRI scans, but general anaesthesia is safer and more reliable.

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General anaesthesia undoubtedly allows MRI to be carried out in anxious children, but sedation is sometimes seen as an acceptable alternative, particularly in the United States.

Conscious sedation is impractical in a noisy environment and deep sedation is necessary,1-1 1-2 in spite of official disapproval.1-3 Deep sedation usually involves a bolus of an oral hypnotic, which may need to be topped up with an intravenous tranquilliser or opioid.

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After you discuss the options for sedation and anesthesia with your child's dentist or oral surgeon, find out exactly who will be administering the medications and who will be watching your child during the dental procedure.

Here's an overview of the various medical and dental professionals who may be involved in your child's dental procedure.

During the scan the child is largely hidden and out of reach, often with depressed ventilation and impaired airway reflexes, and without any airway maintenance device in place, a situation with which most anaesthetists would feel uncomfortable.

Anaesthesia starts with a rapid intravenous or gaseous induction, followed by some method of securing the airway.

Knowledge is power—familiarize yourself with the list below.

The AAP and the AAPD recommend anesthesia professionals be with your child while the dentist or oral surgeon concentrates on the procedure.

The Association of Anaesthetists recommends that monitoring standards should be the same for sedation and anaesthesia: continuous ECG and pulse oximetry, some means of measuring respiration such as end tidal CO monitoring, frequent blood pressure estimations, and inspired oxygen concentration monitoring if the patient is breathing from a gas delivery system.1-7 The cost of anaesthetic equipment cannot be avoided if the children who failed to be sedated are dealt with on the same site.

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