What is Office-based Anesthesia?
Office-based Anesthesia is where the anesthesiologist and his or her team perform anesthesia in doctors or dentists office.
How Is Office-based Dental Anesthesia Different From Hospital-based Anesthesia?
In office-based anesthesia, we use slightly different medications to sedate your child. These medications are administered at levels that provide deep sedation not general anesthesia. The monitoring equipment and safety precautions used are exactly the same as hospital-based anesthesia. Typically, we tend to look after healthy patients in a doctor’s or dentist’s office. We expect all patients to go home within a short time of their surgical procedure.
How Safe Is Office-based Anesthesia?
Aegis Anesthesia physicians employ exactly the same monitoring standards and equipment in your doctor’s or dentist’s office as we would use in a hospital. There is a pediatric anesthesiologist in constant attendance as well as either a Registered Nurse or an Anesthesia Technician. Full resuscitation equipment and medications are immediately available.
What Can I Expect With Office-Based Dental Anesthesia?
You will be contacted before the procedure by our staff and a short interview will determine whether your child is a suitable candidate for office-based anesthesia. Closer to the date (usually the night before), your anesthesiologist will attempt to contact you and discuss any questions you might have.
Fasting rules for solids and liquids should be observed. Please follow our Preanesthesia Instructions for office-based anesthesia regarding diet "NPO" restrictions.
It would be extremely helpful if you could spray each nostril with oxymetazoline (Afrin® is one trade name) spray the night before and before leaving the house for your appointment on the day of the procedure.
Children on prescribed inhalers should begin treatment 24 hours before the procedure. All regular morning medications should be taken with a sip of water (if required) before leaving the house. Preferably, ibuprofen (“Motrin” or “Advil”) should be stopped a week before the procedure. Acetaminophen (“Tylenol”) is fine.
Your child may wear whatever you or they are comfortable with, but it would be helpful if they wore a loose-fitting short-sleeve top, so that we can get to the upper arm. If your child wears pull-ups when sleeping at night, you might consider them wearing one to the dental office.
You will come back to the dental chair with your child. We will administer “laughing gas” (nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen) to your child either with the dental nose mask or our face mask, both of which smell like fruit. The nitrous oxide has good pain-relieving properties so your child should respond less to the intramuscular medications (“shot”) we will administer next. It will take about 2 to 3 minutes before your child becomes co-operative enough for us to begin work on him or her. At this point we will escourt you back to the waiting area.
If the dental surgery is likely to last more than 20 minutes, we will insert an intravenous line (“iv”) through which we will administer more sedative medicine.
Once the surgery is over, it will take about 15 to 20 minutes for your child to wake up. His or her behaviour will be very different for the next 4 to 6 hours. We, will, however, let you go home once your child expresses a wish to and obeys a simple command. You may stay as long as you like until you feel comfortable going home.
For the rest of the day, we recommend that your child “take it easy” – nap, watch TV, read quietly.
Am I Not Overdoing It By Having My Child Undergo Anesthesia For Dental Work?
Each child responds differently in the dentist’s chair. If your child is unable or unwilling to co-operate enough for your dentist to achieve his or her treatment goal, there needs to be a discussion between you and your dentist about how to achieve this. Your dentist will consult with you and us when she or he feels that the only way to work on your child’s teeth is with the use of sedation/anesthesia that we can more expertly deliver to her or him.