Although local anesthesia is used during most dental and surgical procedures, many treatments can be provided with added comfort. In the dental office, physical and emotional senses are heightened with the anxieties of the dental treatment; whether it is the anxieties from the local anesthesia injection, hypersensitive gag reflex or the length and complexity of the treatment.
Now, you have more options and freedom with dental sedation and anesthesia.
What is Sedation and Anesthesia?
Dental sedation is a semi-conscious state that results in reduced anxiety, pain, awareness, and recall. Sedative medications, such as Valium type medications, are administered to create a relaxed environment during the dental treatment. Additional medications can be administered to induce anesthesia for a deeper sleep.
How is the medication administered?
The sedative and anesthetic medications are typically given intravenously (IV). Since the effects are so smooth and rapid via this means of administration. The anesthesiologist can precisely administer and adjust the correct amounts of the medications to make you relaxed and comfortable. Also, if additional medications or adjuncts are necessary during and for the dental treatment, the IV allows easy administration of these medications.
Is anesthesia safe?
While no procedure is totally risk free, having anesthesia in a doctor’s office is as safe as having it in an outpatient surgical center or hospital. The advantages of office-based anesthesia are:
- Work completed in a familiar surrounding
- Cost is considerably less
- We work with anesthesiologists who come on-site while we perform your dental treatment.
- Our anesthesiologists are dedicated and meticulous about patient care and safety.
Our anesthesiologists are licensed dentists and anesthesiologist in the state of California. They are board certified by the American Dental Board of Anesthesiology. They will be in the room during the entire procedure, carefully giving full attention to the safety and comfort of the patient. Blood pressure, pulse, heart tracing, blood oxygen level, and level of consciousness will be monitored. They have all emergency equipment and training needed to handle any rare, but possible, reaction or complications to the anesthesia.
Upon completion of the dental work, you will be in short recovery status. Monitoring of blood pressure, pulse and breathing will be continued. Post-operative instructions will be provided both verbally and written, to your accompanying adult to care for you at home following the procedure.
Billing and Insurance
Our anesthesiologists have a separate billing office than our office. Their office staff will bill the insurance company and you for balances owed.
Once their office is provided with general information about the dental case they will contact your insurance coverage. After obtaining insurance coverage information. Their office staff will contact you. They will obtain general health information, discuss estimated charges and balance, as well as answer any question about general anesthesia.
General anesthesia is charged by time, therefore only an estimated cost can be provided ahead of the procedure. We estimate the time it will take to do the procedure. Then forward that information to them who can then estimate your total time needed. Their office requires all uninsured balances be paid on the day of service.
You must make appointment cancellations 72 hours in advance. If not cancelled, there will be late cancellation fee for reserved time.
What kind of anesthesia can I get?
Most patients do very well with intravenous sedation. You may have heard terms like “conscious sedation” or “twilight sleep”. These all refer to the same thing, which involves sedatives given through an IV with careful monitoring of vital signs. You can be given as much or as little sedation as you need, and most patients don’t remember anything about the procedure afterwards.
For some procedures, a full general anesthetic may be needed, and this can also be given in your doctor’s office.
How closely am I watched during the anesthesia?
Your anesthesiologist will be in the room with you during the whole procedure, carefully giving full attention to your safety and comfort. Your blood pressure, pulse, heart tracing, and blood oxygen level will be watched.
What if something unexpected happens?
Your anesthesiologist has all the emergency equipment and training needed to handle any rare but possible reaction to the anesthesia.
Why have treatment in an office as opposed to a hospital or surgical center?
With this service you can have the procedure done in the familiar surroundings of your doctor’s office, and you will avoid additional operating room charges.
What about children?
Children can receive anesthesia in the office as well. Your anesthesiologist is well trained in treating your children and can take care of them as safely as adults.
Will it make me nauseous?
Nausea is always possible with anesthesia, but with the newer sedative available, it is far less likely than in the past. In addition, your anesthesiologist has medications available to treat nausea if it should occur.
Are the any special rules for getting anesthesia?
You need to avoid eating or drinking anything for at least eight hours before your procedure. You will need to have someone drive you home, since you will not be able to drive after receiving the anesthetic. Your anesthesiologist will tell you if there are any other things to consider because of your individual state of health.