A four-year-old Manitoba girl suffered permanent brain damage after receiving a general anesthetic at the dentist’s office and going into cardiac arrest.

Jarilyn Roulette’s mother says the little girl was given the anesthetic at a private clinic, Children’s Dental World in Winnipeg, in October because she needed extensive dental work.

“The dentist touched my leg and said, ‘Oh, don’t worry, you don’t have to worry about it. She’s in good hands and she has a better chance of being hit by a car than anything happening,” a tearful Apryl Roulette told CTV News.

“They put the mask on her and she started crying and I said: ‘It’s OK, when you wake up, Mommy will be there. And she just never woke up.”

Roulette said her daughter went into cardiac arrest while the dentist was still working on extracting and filling her teeth. Jarilyn was rushed to the hospital, where she remains unresponsive. Roulette says her child will never walk, talk or eat on her own again. 

“Just the thought of knowing I’m never going to hear her say ‘Mom’ again…I can’t see her run around,” Roulette said. “I just want to hear her say ‘Mom’ again.”

CTV News has learned that a general practitioner with at least one year of specialized training administered Jarilyn’s anesthesia. There is nothing to indicate that Children’s Dental World did not follow correct procedures.

The clinic has declined to comment, saying it has “obligations to keep this a private matter.” Neither the Manitoba Dental Association nor the College of Physicians and Surgeons would say whether they are investigating the clinic or its staff.

The Canadian Dental Association says dental surgery for cavities under general anesthesia is the most common day procedure at most pediatric hospitals in Canada.

The association says more than 2,000 preschool-aged children undergo dental surgery under general anesthetic each year in Manitoba hospitals, and many more receive dental treatment in private clinics. The report did not say how many of those kids suffer complications. 

The report says the risk of complications resulting from an anesthetic is quite low for healthy children.

With a report from CTV’s Jill Macyshon in Winnipeg