Austin Toddler’s Death After Dental Visit Blamed on Anesthesia

If you have small children, PLEASE pay close attention. My heart breaks whenever I see this kind of news. Thank goodness this is very rare.

A little girl is no longer with us. She never made it home from her dental appointment a few months ago. A few measly cavities. Coroner reports are saying the anesthesia used to put her to sleep looks like the major contributor to her death, but the final report is not yet out.

Everything appears to have been done properly by a licensed children’s dentist with general anesthesia being administered by a licensed anesthesiologist. Nobody did anything wrong as far as we can tell.

We all sign those forms before surgical procedures where we acknowledge we are informed of the risks, and one of them is DEATH. No one should ever take that lightly.

Many years ago I had the unfortunate displeasure of having to remove ALL the baby teeth from a three-year-old. All 20 of them. This was all due to severe cavities that became too infected to fix. Worse than that, I had to do this procedure on three different children. These were all done under general anesthesia so I’m very familiar with what’s involved. Death is extremely rare.

How do you protect your little ones from the risks of general anesthesia?

First and foremost, minimize their need for it. I know surgery is sometimes necessary, along with the risks, but dental surgery is often much more preventable than you might think. Imagine if the mom whose child died had known how to prevent cavities. Her child might still be alive without a few little cavities in her teeth. If there had been no cavities, there would have been no anesthesia in this case.

But please note, I am in no way placing blame on this girl’s mom for not knowing what dentists know! No parent gets a manual explaining everything about raising children.

So I’m trying to do my part to help REAL MOMS better understand how dentistry affects their children. I’m writing a series called Real Mom’s Dental Pocket Guide and the first one happens to be about cavities. It tells the story of one of one of those three children where I had to remove all their baby teeth.

It also tells a contrasting story of a REAL MOM who understood all the factors and used them to her sons’ advantage. These boys had great dental health because their mom knew what to do. This pocket guide will teach any mom who reads it how to minimize risk of cavities in their children from infancy through the teenage years. It’s got information that I guarantee no dentist has ever taken the time to teach you.

I’m a dad and a grandfather. I can only imagine what the parents and family of this little girl who passed have gone through. My heartfelt condolences to this family.

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