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Dental Anesthesia

Tooth extraction with hyperventilation



Recently my 14 yr old 100 lb daughter underwent a 4 molar (#7) extraction. She elected to have anesthesia. We went to the clinic where the dental surgeon and 2 nurses began the procedure. After 45 min to an hour they called me in their recovery room. When I arrived my dgt was sitting in a lazy boy chair. I think she was quiet at first but soon began to hyperventilate and her eyes were wide as saucers. Her head was rolling from side to side and she was not responding to my questions. She had to be completely assisted to lie down. This is what I experienced and I found it scary . It lasted from 30 min to one hour. Then she slowly came round. Any ideas?


This is a very hard question to answer not knowing what type of sedative or general anesthetic drugs she was given. This can be a very common side effect of some medications and would be normal, or she may have required significant medications, as can occur at this age, and this was a hangover effect, possibly with decreased breathing leading eventually to hyperventilation.

Dentists frequently have parents/caregivers come into the recovery room much earlier than in the hospital but the recovery period is frequently very disconcerting for those not familiar with it.

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University