At Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry, it is our goal to provide your child with the best possible oral care for optimal oral health. To do this, we go the extra mile to ensure that your child is comfortable in our office. We create a calming atmosphere, speak to your child in ways that they will understand, and explain (and demonstrate) our procedures before we perform them. However, some children may be more anxious than others. For these children, general anesthesia may be the best, safest option to provide them with the care that they need.
Why General Anesthesia?
Many young children and toddlers may be overly frightened of the dentist. They may not understand what is happening, even though we speak with them first. The sound of the tools, or the pressure in their mouth, may make them hysterical. Some children may have an extensive amount of dental work that needs to be done, or their procedure may be complicated. For these children, general anesthesia may be the best, safest, way to perform their procedures.
General anesthesia begins by inhaling (breathing in) gasses mixed with oxygen. It relaxes your child and puts them to sleep for the duration of their procedure. Dr. Walter Trautman, MD, administers and monitors the anesthesia throughout the process. Your child will not feel any pain, nor will they have any memory of the procedure.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate?
Younger children tend to be ideal candidates for general anesthesia, although older children who have a fear of the dentist can also benefit. Children who need to have extensive work done can often get everything done all at once under general anesthesia, rather than needing several appointments. Some children with special needs may also find dental treatment easier with general anesthesia. We will work with our anesthesiologist to go over your child’s medical history to make sure general anesthesia will be the best option.
How Does it Work?
There is some preparation that will need to be done at home before your child’s appointment. For children of any age, no food or drink should be given after midnight. You will be provided with exact instructions before the day of your child’s visit.
When you arrive for your child’s appointment, they may still be feeling anxious. As a parent, it can be upsetting to see your child frightened, but it is important that you do your best to help your child remain calm. Bring a comfort item for them to hold. Holding their hand and talking to them can also be beneficial. Once your child is asleep, our Dr. Walter Trautman, MD will monitor their vitals while we perform their procedure.
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 Anesthesiologists office, pre- and post-op care and, of course, answering any questions you may have regarding 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 canceled. 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 seven days before the General Anesthesia appointment.
Benefits of General Anesthesia
The biggest advantage to general anesthesia is that your child will not be traumatized by their dental experience. Asleep, they will have no idea what is happening. They will be completely calm, and all treatments they need can be done.
If your child has severe anxiety about their dental visits or becomes inconsolable as soon as they are in the chair, general anesthesia may be able to help. Call Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry today at (253) 864-9889 to find out more.