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Frequent Patient Questions

1) Will I be feeling any pain when under anesthesia?

Once you’re asleep, we will administer medications that will control pain and anxiety, ensuring a comfortable experience during the procedure.


2) Why would I or my child need treatment under general anesthesia? Can’t this be done without it?

There are patients with specific needs that would not allow them to sit through a dental procedure. Children and patients with special needs may not voluntarily endure a long dental procedure or allow for any treatment to commence. True, most dental procedures could be done in multiple appointments but the patient as well as the provider may opt to get complete the procedure in a single appointment while the patient is comfortably asleep.

3) How long will I be under? How will I be charged?

Length of procedure is ultimately dependant upon the amount of dental work that needs to be completed. Anesthesia fees are given charged for the first hour and each additional increments of time thereafter.


4) What is the difference between sedation and general anesthesia?


There are different levels of sedation on one of the spectrum and general anesthesia on the other end. There is mild sedation whereby the patient is sedated but is partially awake, enough to respond to the treating clinician. Moderate sedation occurs when the patient may or may not fully respond to commands from the clinician. Deep Sedation/General anesthesia occurs when the patient is completely asleep whereby they are not aware during the treating procedure, muscle relaxation and no recollection of procedure.


5) Why is it important not to eat before before procedure? How many hours before should I stop eating or drinking?

Eating just prior to undergoing anesthesia can be life threatening if the anesthesiologist is not aware of it. Doing so runs the risk for a possible aspiration whereby the stomach contents can be vomited during anesthesia which can enter the lungs causing severe respiratory damage. Guidelines for NPO status (nothing by mouth) include not eating solids for at least 6 hours, no milk (including cream in your coffee) for at least 4 hours prior and clear fluids (including water or apple juice) for at least 2 hours.
6) Can I go home after the procedure?


Yes, once the anesthesiologist has deemed it safe for the patient to return home for waking from anesthesia. Dental procedures under anesthesia in the outpatient setting such as a private dental office or surgical center are designed allow the patient to go home and not admitted into a hospital for overnight stay.


7) Is dental treatment under anesthesia safe for me or my child?

Absolutely. Our utmost priority is the safety and well being for our patients. Each patient will be monitored with the same equipment that is used in a hospital setting, such as blood pressure, oxygen/ventilation, and electrocardiogram (EKG). The anesthesiologist will be by the patient's side before, during and after procedure, never leaving their side. During procedure, there is a minimum of 3 health care providers present in the room as part of the treatment team.


8) What qualifications do you have as a dental anesthesiologist? What is your training?


A dental anesthesiologist has completed dental school followed by a speciality residency training accredited by CODA. Training includes a residency duration of at least 2 to 3 years in a hospital and private practice setting.


9) Do you have all the necessary equipment to perform anesthesia in the dental office safely?

Each anesthesiologist brings with them emergency resuscitation equipment including the necessary medications for both pediatric and adult patients.


10) How long will it take for me or my child to wake up from the anesthesia?

Each case is different as each patient have a different medical history. Generally, most emergence from anesthesia and discharge home is within 30 minutes of completion of procedure.


11) Is it possible for me to be present in the treatment room with my child during their appointment under anesthesia?

Unfortunately, parents and other family members are not allowed in the treatment room once a patient is under anesthesia. This is a matter of patient safety whereby the treating personnel can focus their attention on the patient under anesthesia and not on other members who are not a part of the treatment team.


12) What information do I need to know or provide to the anesthesiologist ahead of the treatment day?


To ensure the safety of a procedure and of the patient, it is the utmost importance to report any medical issues to your anesthesiologist including past and present medical conditions, drug addiction, history of surgeries and current medications and allergies.


13) What items should I prepare to bring on the day of treatment under anesthesia?


Please ensure adequate travel arrangements to and from the office are made ahead of time. It’s best to arrange rides with family and friends as they will assist the patient to and from the car and into their home for further supervision during recovery. As for specific items, we recommend wearing loose fitting comfortable clothing including a short-sleeve t-shirt and shoes (no flip flops). For children, be prepared to bring extra change of clothes, blanket and a stuffed animal that provides them comfort and security.

14) I had a procedure under anesthesia before. Will that be an issue?

No. Please report any surgeries under anesthesia and more importantly, any complications from the anesthesia including fevers, life-threatening events, nausea and vomiting. Notify the anesthesiologist of any complications from any of your family members as well.

15) Will I be awake during the procedure which will cause me to remember?

Under anesthesia, the goal is to have the patient comfortable, asleep and not moving during the procedure, allowing the dental team to provide their services. There is a small probability of any memory recall from procedures under anesthesia.

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