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Frequently Asked Questions    /    Policies and Forms

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning General Anesthesia

What Is It?

Anesthesia is defined as the loss of feeling or sensation with or without a loss of consciousness. In reality, anesthesia does more. In addition to keeping your child pain free during surgery, anesthesia controls the body’s reaction to stress and relieves the fear and anxiety almost always associated with surgery. Anesthesia may begin with an injection or by inhaling- breathing in- gases mixed with oxygen. Sometimes these different methods are used in combination.

One of the most important roles of an anesthesiologist is to evaluate your child’s medical status preoperatively. Dr. Hersey requires a pre-operative health history and physical prior to your child’s dental surgery. The physical would be scheduled with your current general practitioner or pediatrician.

Why would a child need general anesthesia just to have teeth fixed?

Unfortunately, many children suffer from serious, potentially painful dental diseases. Unlike such health conditions as colds and flu, dental diseases won’t go away on their own. When treatment is required for a serious dental condition, general anesthesia may be recommended to make delivery of that required treatment possible in a safe and comfortable manner. Without treatment dental caries can adversely affect learning, communication, nutrition, and other activities necessary for normal growth and development of your child. When a child with disabilities needs extensive dental treatment, general anesthesia is an accepted standard of care. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services support this standard. General Anesthesia is also an accepted standard of care for situations involving children who have limited comprehension or children who are extremely uncooperative and require dental care that is technically difficult or sensitive to deliver.

How safe is it to have general anesthesia in the dental office?

Dental treatment requiring general anesthesia in an office environment poses similar risks to those inherent in any surgical procedure for children and can be made as safe as a general anesthetic delivered in a hospital or surgical center. Modern medicines and technology make the delivery of general anesthesia in an office setting equivalent to the same service in a hospital or surgery center.

We feel fortunate that we are able to team together with one of Washington’s finest anesthesiologist Dr. Walter Trautman, MD.

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General Anesthesia Policies and Forms

If Dr. Hersey has recommended that your child receive dental treatment under General Anesthesia, you will work directly with our Treatment Coordinator. She will assist you in scheduling, insurance billing, coordinating with the Anesthesiologist office, pre and post op care and, of course, answering any questions you may have in regard to this special care.

Dr. Hersey reserves two days each month for our General Anesthesia patients. On these days, the entire office is closed so that Dr. Hersey and staff may give your child their complete attention. You will be required to secure “In office” General Anesthesia appointments with a $300.00 deposit. The deposit is applied to your co-payment once treatment has been rendered, but is non-refundable if the appointment is cancelled. Once the appointment is scheduled, you will want to schedule your child's pre-operative appointment with his/her Pediatrician. This appointment must be performed within 7 days before the General Anesthesia appointment.

Click on the following links for forms relating to your General Anesthesia appointment:

Pre-Operative Care Instructions
Post-Operative Care Instructions
Physical form for the Pediatrician to complete

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Puyallup WA Pediatric Dentist ~ Dr. Stuart Hersey
Specializing in Children's Dentistry

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