General Anesthesia FAQ

Here are a few frequently asked questions for you to consider when seeking General Anesthesia dentistry in a non-hospital facility. Well before any procedure requiring General Anesthesia, our anesthetist will review your medical history to ensure that you are a candidate for General Anesthesia.


What is General Anesthesia (GA)?

The word ‘anesthesia’ means ‘loss of sensation’. General Anesthesia is a state of controlled unconsciousness and ensures freedom from pain during a dental procedure.

Who should receive dental care with general anesthesia?

General Anesthesia is particularly helpful for adults and children with severe anxiety or suffer from extreme anxiety and cannot relax during their appointment, people who have a severe gag reflex and are in need of extensive dental work and/or people with disabilities or special health care needs are all candidates for General Anesthesia. For non-hospital General Anesthesia, you must be healthy (ASA I and ASA II) and have a Physician’s Assessment done prior to your appointment.

I need a lot of dental work. Can it all be done in one visit or do I need to book multiple appointments?

With General Anesthesia, we have the ability to perform multiple appointments in one dental visit. For example, we can perform a root canal and crown all in one single visit; we can combine wisdom teeth removal with needed restorative work or extractions for immediate dentures and/or dental implants. We can also provide hygiene during your appointment. We invite you to speak to our Treatment Coordinator to review your dental goals and we’ll help you achieve the smile you’re looking for.

Is general anesthesia safe?

Our Anesthesiologist is specifically trained in delivering General Anesthesia. He is responsible for the delivery, monitoring and medical care of you or your child. Many precautions are taken to provide safety for those who undergo General Anesthesia for dental care in our office. You’re monitored closely during the General Anesthesia procedure by our Anesthesiologist and his team who are specially trained to monitor you and manage complications should they arise. We’ll discuss the benefits and risks involved in General Anesthesia and why it is recommended for you or your child’s treatment.

Can I accompany my child during his/her sedation treatment?

We encourage parents to accompany their child as we’re getting started. We prefer to have the parent(s) present when the child wakes up to comfort and reassure them. This usually goes very smoothly and helps transition a successful dental appointment.

How long will it take to recover after general anesthesia?

Everyone differs in their response to medications given during sedation. You can recover in as little as 30 minutes or may need up to 1 hour or more. Recovery time may also be extended if you’ve had pre-medication. Rest assured that you will be monitored by our Anesthesiologist throughout your procedure and he will not leave your side until you are in a recovery state. We have a team of specially trained sedation assistants as well as a Registered Nurse who are responsible for your care while you are undergoing and recovering from sedation.

Can I go back to work or school after my general anesthesia appointment?

No. You will need to leave the clinic with a responsible adult who will stay with you until the next morning. You should not operate a vehicle or heavy equipment for 24 hours, fly a plane within 48 hours or sign any legal documents after your General Anesthesia procedure. Please see our Post-Operative Instructions for further details.

How does general anesthesia in dentistry work? Won’t there be a tube in my mouth?

We use a nasal tube during the procedure which allows our dentists the access they need to complete your dental work.

Are you able to provide general anesthesia for patients with special needs?

Your health is important to us and we’ll carefully review your current medical history. Whether you’re physically challenged, or have special needs (Aspergers, Autism, Down Syndrome) you’ll be pre-assessed by our Physician/Anesthetist to ensure you’re a candidate for non-hospital anesthesia. Our Physician/Anesthetist will ask for further clarification from your medical doctor (Physician’s Assessment) and he may request a consultation appointment with you/parent/guardian prior to scheduling an appointment.

How much does general anesthesia cost?

Our Treatment Coordinator will discuss all sedation and dental fees during your initial consultation.

Will MSP cover the cost of general anesthesia or deep sedation?

Driftwood Dental is not able to bill MSP for any fees.

Will my Dental Plan cover the cost of sedation?

Insurance plans vary in what they allow for sedation fees. Our Treatment Coordinator will help you determine the costs of your dentistry under sedation and can request a pre-authorization from your insurer to help you understand the extent of coverage your dental plan provides. 


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