Operating Room

What does treatment in the operating room look like?

A physical exam form will be sent home with you to be completed by your child’s pediatrician. It is required for your child to arrive on an empty stomach – nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before. The team at the out-patient facility will greet you and your child and make you comfortable in a pre-operative area. Please have them dress comfortably and don’t hesitate to bring a favorite stuffed animal or doll along! The anesthesia team will bring your child to the operating room – an anesthesiologist and a nurse anesthetist will monitor your child throughout the entire appointment. You will be made aware once the treatment is complete and the team will bring you to comfort your child as they waken. Once your child is awake and alert you will be ready to leave with complete post-operative instructions.

Why treat in the operating room?

Treatment in the operating room under general anesthesia is a great option for children with multiple areas (or quadrants) of treatment needs, complex medical histories or special health care needs and who are unable to cooperate for treatment in the office.  Patients are completely asleep with general anesthesia is used. 

Is treatment in the operating room safe?

While there is risk involved with any type of procedure, the medical anesthesiologists in the operating room employ general anesthesia to allow our pediatric dental specialists to complete your child’s dental treatment.  General anesthesia has long been proven to be safe. We always recommend your child see his or her pediatrician before having treatment completed in the operating room for a history and physical. We will communicate closely with your child’s primary physician and the anesthesiologist to ensure treatment while under general anesthesia is a safe option.

Will the operating room work for every child?

Every child is unique and tolerates treatment uniquely. Our pediatric dentist will evaluate your child’s level of dental anxiety, medical history, and dental treatment needs prior to recommending treatment in the operating room. The recommendation to treat your child’s teeth while they are under general anesthesia is a decision your pediatric dentist does not make lightly. As specialty-trained pediatric dentists, they are capable of offering other sedation methods to best fit your child.