Type 1 Child and Dental Work

Hi friends! My daughter is 6 and was just diagnosed with type 1 about three weeks ago.

What I’m wondering is, for those of you who’ve have dental work that required you to have some sort of sedation, how was that managed for you?? We had a dentist appointment today and she was SOOO anxious she was crying and screaming about literally everything they tried to do. She has a couple small cavities, but the dentist suggested we come back another day and try one of the gasses they have to let her sleep briefly while they fix the cavities.

Right now I’m playing phone tag with the dentist and the endocrinologist offices to figure out what’s safe and what’s not and does she have to be NPO before, etc. etc. Totally stressed out trying to process this and not get it wrong. I think she definitely needs to be asleep for this, but I just want her to be safe.

What is your experience with this? Thanks in advance.

Hi @AngGottberg welcome to TypeOneNation. All anesthetic has some risk but not generally to blood sugar. If she’s ok before the procedure she’ll be ok through it. Lots of people go high or low under anxiety or stress so keep a watch out By testing a lot and you’ll both be fine. Hope the endo calls back. Good luck and speedy recovery

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Thanks Joe. Yup after the visit she was 78 and not feeling great once we got home, so apparently stress like that makes her go lower.

I’m a huge coward when it comes to the dentist. I always get nitrous oxide for any dental work, including simple cleanings. I always have something to eat just before I go since I may not be able to eat for a while. I run a bit high when I leave but I think it’s due to that and not the nitrous.

Oh they don’t require not eating beforehand? That was kinda the main question I’m trying to figure out.

@AngGottberg if it is a “general” anesthesia then no eating. But I don’t count glucose tabs as eating because of the way they dissolve and absorb. For gas like nitrous you’re probably safer to not eat because some people pass out on nitrous. The fear is you will vomit and aspirate which is very bad. For a local you can eat. Hope this helps.

You could check with your dentist but I’ve never had a problem. You are not supposed to eat for a certain number of hours for surgery under general anesthesia for medical procedures, but in my experience medical procedures using local anesthesia, and dental ones using nitrous, don’t require fasting. I’m not a medical professional - just sharing my experience.
Speaking of which - I’ve discovered that if I can’t bring my blood sugars down with my pump or by injection, it’s often an indication I have an infection. Most of those times I’ve had a tooth ache I ignored, thinking and hoping it was sinuses - only to have a roiling, cyclical pain develop. After a few root canals I’ve learned to address things early - and ironically, having one actually helped me get over my dental fear!
I had a very bad dentist growing up, so I went through most of college not seeing one, during which time I got several cavities I could no longer ignore. Thankfully I found a terrific practice. I’m saying that because hopefully your little one will have a better experience than I did and will take better care of her teeth so things don’t get to that level. Hopefully she has a great dentist who will help her overcome her fears.

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@AngGottberg Hi Angelica, and Welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum!

During my many years, decades, with diabetes I’ve been put to sleep for many surgeries, although never with a gas, and haven’t had any difficulties with any. Keep in mind, that any procedure has risks.

I do suggest, that you make certain that your daughter’s BG is a little higher before the procedure begins. Personally, after numbing for any dental work, I’ve found it difficult to drink or eat for about an hour afterwards. I’ve used Glucose Tabs shortly before being put to sleep, actually while being wheeled into OR, so that my BG wouldn’t plunge during surgery.

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Loads of people are anxious about seeing a dentist. Getting your daughter to see the dental team as good people can made a note able difference.
Luckily it was explained to me in my grade school years that dentist can do more good on a quiet and still patient. Knowing that I did not want to create problems I learned biofeedback.
Now whenever in a stressful situation, that does not require my participation for resolution, I think of a favored place. It is 100% imaginary; beautiful, peaceful, captivating yet tranquil. This place can hold my attention for about 30 minutes without difficulty.
When there are occasional touches of pain my dentist knows my involuntary squishing up of my face or eyes indicates that a live nerve has been (nearly) touched. At my vacation spot I know that the bodily pain is temporary.

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I usually make my dental appointments in the morning when I’m less likely to go low, and after I eat a regular breakfast. I increase my basal rate if the visit is long or if I’m feeling a bit of discomfort. Good luck!

So sorry to hear you’re in this position.