There are common risks to anesthesia that are mild and there are rare risks to anesthesia that are life threatening. Very young children fear separation from their loved ones. As they get older the fear focuses on mutilation and loss of control. In adolescence and into adulthood, pain and death become peoples’ chief concerns.
The odds of a life threatening injury in a car accident is about 1 in 6,700. There are a lot of statistics about anesthesia, but if you are healthy the odds of a life threatening complication are probably less than 1 in 100,000. Would you suspect that getting in your car is 15 times more dangerous than undergoing anesthesia?
Rest assured that for our doctors, patient safety is #1. All doctors are board certified or board-eligible, have monitors and equipment that meet or exceed the standards set forth by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, perform extensive medical evaluations, and if we believe you can be seen in the office, choose the safest anesthetic plan that suits your needs.
FAQs for patients
Your insurance company may or may not cover the anesthesia portion of your procedure. This will vary by patient (age, special needs), procedures being done, and state you live in. Some states require medical insurance providers to cover anesthesia for dental procedures under certain circumstances.
We will provide you with any documentation of services provided for you to file your claim. Contact us with specific questions regarding insurance.
Occasionally parents will request that the dentist only perform the minimum work that their child needs under general anesthesia. If this is a concern to you, please discuss with your dentist prior to your appointment.
Since there are risks to sedation and general anesthesia, we recommend that all treatment recommended be done under anesthesia. Some studies show that multiple exposures to anesthesia may increase the risk of learning disabilities. (e.g. Flick, RP. Cognitive and behavioral outcomes after early exposure to anesthesia and surgery, Pediatrics 2011 Nov;128(5):e1053-61.) There are also recommendations that crowns should be favored when a child is under anesthesia. (e.g. Seale, NS.The use of stainless steel crowns, Pediatric Dentistry 2002 Sep-Oct;24(5):501-5.)
The evidence is inconclusive and it is not well understood how anesthesia may affect your child. You must discuss with your dentist the risks of delaying treatment and balance those against the risks of anesthesia. What we do know is that dental infection is a problem that does not go away on its own and will definitely impact your child’s life. Please read this consensus statement.
[12-14-2016] FDA statement about use of general anesthetics in young children: FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA review results in new warnings about using general anesthetics and sedation drugs in young children and pregnant women. Of note, this warning applies to ALL commonly used anesthesia medications regardless of their method of action.
[03-02-2017] Canadian article about FDA statement: What parents should know about GA in toddlers
FAQs for dentists
As mobile anesthesia providers, we can bring most of the equipment, monitors, and supplies to provide anesthesia safely and legally in your office. Click here to read the most current partner recommendations.
For now these forms should be given to you by your dentist. If you need us to send you a form, please contact us.