What is a Dentist Anesthesiologist?

A Dentist Anesthesiologist is an individual who first completes four years of dental school training followed by the successful completion of an accredited post-doctoral anesthesiology residency-training program. Post-doctoral anesthesiology programs are three years in duration, while remain in accord with the Commission on Dental Accreditation’s Standards for Dental Anesthesiology Residency Programs, and/or meet the eligibility requirements for examination by the American Dental Board of Anesthesiology.

A mobile dentist anesthesiologist will bring all the necessary equipment to provide anesthesia safely in your dentists private office. A mobile dental anesthesiologist brings all the necessary equipment to provide anesthesia safely in your dentist’s office. The monitoring equipment mirrors that used in a hospital’s operating room. The dentist anesthesiologist is responsible for providing a preoperative evaluation, intraoperative management and postoperative care for the safe and effective treatment of the patient. Certified dentist anesthesiologists are also fully equipped and trained to handle full-codes, including all advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and pediatric advanced life support (PALS) protocols.

Who is an ideal candidate for the deeper forms of Anesthesia?

Not everyone will require being sedated to the level of unconsciousness. Our job is to confirm your personal desires, analyze your overall medical condition, review the advantages and disadvantages of each possible option, and establish what method would be safest and most practical for your particular needs. In general, patients who benefit from deeper levels of anesthesia have:

  • An extreme dental fear
  • A history of a traumatic dental experience
  • A low pain threshold or difficulty getting a tooth or teeth numb
  • A difficulty having an IV started
  • Severe needle phobias
  • Severe gagging reflexes
  • Extremely sensitive teeth
  • Claustrophobias
  • Complex dental problems requiring extended time commitments
  • A desire to condense multiple appointments into a single visit
  • Sensitivities to dental related noises, smells and/or tastes
  • Healthcare needs requiring unconsciousness to ensure physiologic safety
  • An inability to understand the need for the procedure (ie: children, dementia, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diminished mental capacity, etc.)
Who will determine what type of sedation is best for my particular situation?

Each patient will receive a complex evaluation to assess and establish which technique(s) will be best for a given situation. After discussing your particular desires and needs, the dentist anesthesiologist will then contact your dentist to discuss your treatment needs. Next, a comprehensive review of your medical history will take place. This may include one or more consultations with any physicians or specialists that are overseeing your medical care. Once the anesthesiologist has collected this data, he/she will discuss what safe and effective options are best for your individualized needs and desires.

My child is healthy. Why is my Anesthesiologist requiring us to get a physician’s physical prior to this care?

Anesthesia and surgical procedures affect the entire body and it is very important for the anesthesia care provider to be able to anticipate the affects on your child. Issues, such as asthma or the common cold, can sometimes be perceived as minor, can have a large impact on an anesthetic procedure. In turn, your anesthesiologist may require a pre-operative history & physical (H&P) prior to the onset of your child’s dental care.

Is general anesthesia performed in a dental office safe?

Though it is important to understand that all forms of sedation and anesthesia carry some risk, dental anesthesiologists have an unsurpassed safety record while providing care in private dental offices. When anesthesia is administered by a licensed anesthesiologist, who was trained in a formal anesthesia residency program, complications are extremely rare. Medications used are all state of the art, considered safe, and used as intended. The anesthesiologist, through his/her clinical skills and modern electronic equipment, monitors your vitals signs (pulse, breathing, blood pressure, oxygen level, and heart rhythm) and assures they are maintained normally throughout your procedure.

What are some potential complications associated with general anesthesia?

The safety record of office-based general anesthesia administered by an independent dentist anesthesiologist is unsurpassed by any other system of anesthesia delivery. Nevertheless, it is important to understand some of the associated potential complications.

Nausea and vomiting are among the most common complications. However, their occurrences are still infrequent (in less than 10% of cases). Patients who have previously experienced postoperative nausea and vomiting or are susceptible to motion sickness are potentially at a higher risk of such occurrence. Irritation at the site of the IV is also very rare, but a potential minor complication. Most people wake up 15 to 30 minutes after anesthesia has been stopped. However, because everybody has a different response to medications, a delayed recovery may happen, especially after extended procedures. Laryngospasm is a reflex condition in which the vocal cords close in response to a stimulus such as liquid dropping into the back of the throat. This is not a common occurrence. The treatment involves suctioning of the mouth, delivery of oxygen with gentle pressure and, very rarely, the administration of a muscle relaxant. A child may urinate during or after an extended procedure. Please young children wear a diaper or training pants, and bring an extra change of clothes for older children.

Respiratory depression, another side effect of anesthesia, may require some airway positioning and/or ventilatory assistance. Allergic reactions are rare, but are typically managed with use of emergency medications to reverse the signs and symptoms of the reaction.
Are there side effects associated with sedation and anesthesia?

Anesthetic medications have occasional side effects including nausea, dizziness, sleepiness and loss of normal body coordination. Some patients may experience a sore throat and minor aches. Typically these effects dissipate within 24-hours following discharge. By the following care, the majority of patients are free of dizzy spells or bodily weakness. The decision to continue with daily activities should be based on the presence of any unusual signs or symptoms. Following treatment, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to stay well hydrated and always take pain medications(s) as directed by your dentist or anesthesiologist.

Why is my Anesthesiologist requiring me to avoid food and drink prior to my anesthetic procedure?

Though quite low, aspiration during anesthesia accounts for a varying number of anesthesia-related complications. It remains a serious, but potentially preventable complication. Pre-operative fasting is the mainstay of attempting to minimize the risk of regurgitation and aspiration. Patient failure to comply with these eating instructions often results in delay or cancellation of elective surgical procedures. Nevada Dental Anesthesia stresses traditional pre-operative eating instructions, which require patients to not consume solid foods 8-hours prior to and fluids 2-hours prior to anticipated anesthetic care. It is also important for nursing mother’s to recognize that breastfeeding should cease 4-hours prior to care, while infant formula and non-human milk should stop 6-hours prior to care.

Are there any helpful hints to know following my anesthetic procedure?

Avoid foods and drinks that may cause an upset stomach or gas. Some of these are coffee, milk, cauliflower, chocolate, fried foods and baked beans. Too much sugar can distend the stomach because water is drawn into the stomach to dilute the sugar. We also advise against consuming carbonated drinks, as the resulting gas can similarly distend the stomach, causing further discomfort. Because certain drugs can interact with local anesthetic solutions, tell your dentist about all medications, both prescription and over the counter, you are taking.

I have some additional questions pertaining to this care. Who can I contact for answers?

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding our services or desire to inquire how we can make your dental experience more enjoyable and completely free of pain.

I am afraid of needles. Is there a way to avoid all needles?

Absolutely! Dr. Lemon recognizes that many adults and children are concerned with being stuck with a sharp needle. This is why we offer several methods for ensuring that you or your child has no memory of ever being stuck. If this is a concern, please mention this during our initial conversations so we can discuss your options.

Why is anesthesia important?

Anesthesia is important because it eliminates pain and anxiety during your procedure. It allows your dentist more time to perform complicated procedures and reduces physical shock and emotional stress.

Will my dental insurance cover the cost of general anesthesia?

Every dental benefit plan is different - there may be complete, partial or no coverage. It all depends on the particular benefits provided by your dental plan. Many plans require that a tooth to be removed before anesthesia charges are covered. Because there are many variations in plan benefits, we recommend that you contact and research your dental insurance benefits prior to receiving care. It is also important for you to determine your annual policy maximum to verify that funds will remain for general anesthesia following the coverage for your dental work. Unfortunately, privacy legislation will not allow us to directly contact your insurance company to obtain this information.