Thursday, March 2, 2017

An Important Treatment Option

Not all parents are aware that we offer in office IV sedation.  It’s an important tool that is ideal for patients with issues or concerns such as strong dental phobia, extensive treatment needs, a strong gag reflex, infection, children with special needs, and/or very young children who are not yet able to sit still long enough to have their treatment completed.

If ever a child presents with one or more of the situations above, we will always discuss the treatment options available to you and your child.  If sedation is appropriate to help us to eliminate your child’s dental disease, it offers several benefits.  All dental work can be completed in one visit.  We greatly reduce the potential of worsening any dental anxiety or phobia during your child’s treatment.  If you have a super wiggly little one our office finds it offers better outcomes and success rates for their care.

During your child’s IV sedation appointment the medications work quickly and reliably.  This form of sedation is less invasive than the type we use in the hospital under general anesthesia requiring no tubes be inserted into your child’s throat.   Your child will be breathing on their own which allows for a quicker recovery as compared to general anesthesia in the hospital setting.  Typically, within 20-30 minutes.  All of this is done in the familiar setting of our office.

Our staff does not perform the sedation services.  We work closely with Pediatric Dental Anesthesia Associates (PDAA) as we feel this option offers the highest level of care that we can provide in our office for your child's dental sedation needs.  A pediatric anesthesiologist is a medical doctor who has completed 4 years of college, then 4 years of medical school, followed by 4-5 years of training in anesthesiology including specialty training in pediatric (infants and children) anesthesiology. This typically includes more than 12,000 hours of clinical training. PDAA’s anesthesiologists receive some of the highest level of training available, so you can be assured your child receives the safest care.  Our office works primarily with Dr. Hector Vila from PDAA who has been certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology since 1994.  He is considered an expert in the area of patient safety.  All anesthesia services are billed directly through PDAA and they have a wonderful team to help you with that process.

Please click the link for a brief IV sedation tour from PDAA.  

The cost of an in office IV sedation appointment is, on average, about 80% lower than that of an in-hospital sedation.  These services are not typically covered by dental insurance but may be covered by your medical insurance depending on your plan.  With that said, some insurances favor in hospital general anesthesia over in office IV sedation.  Your out of pocket costs could vary depending on your medical plan.  We can help you with the information you would need to allow you to have a meaningful conversation with your insurer to help you make the choice that is right for you.  PDAA is your primary resource for any questions you may have about coverage for their services.

Whatever your child’s dental needs we will always look at ways to help you prevent further decay in the future.  There are many causes of decay beyond the consumption of obvious forms of sugar like candy and sugary drinks.  Some foods convert to sugars after consumption, the pH of your child’s mouth can contribute to decay.  There are also medical conditions we can help to identify that influence your child’s dental health.  We can review and advise you on ways to adjust your home hygiene routine.  Our main concern is preventing new decay where ever possible.  Whatever you child’s dental needs may be, we are here to help.

Michelle - Certified Dental Assistant