Sometimes children are too young to cooperate, have special needs that reduce cooperative ability or have extensive treatment plans that make general anesthesia the best option for their dental surgery. We are fortunate to have doctors and assistants from Northern Lights Dental anesthesia join our team several times each month to perform these surgeries in our office. The first step is either a dental consultation for new patients referred by another dental provider, or an exam for new or existing patients that are due for a checkup or experiencing pain. At this appointment, our dentist will thoroughly explain the procedures, why they are recommended, and what they involve. A dental treatment plan will be created showing the recommended dental procedures, the fee for the services, an estimate of your insurance coverage, and the estimated patient portion of the fee. Our surgery coordinator will provide you with information about the way the general anesthesia appointments are scheduled, what to do to prepare for the appointment, and the necessary forms for Northern Lights Dental Anesthesia. She will ask you to complete their health questionnaire in the office so she can consult with the anesthesiologist in advance of your child’s surgery. The next step for some is a physical appointment with their pediatrician to be medically cleared for dental surgery under general anesthesia. This screening appointment must be within 30 days of the surgery. The H&P notes from this appointment should be sent to our office via fax at 907‐336‐4321. We must receive them at least two days prior to the surgery. The following step is necessary for all patients for the foreseeable future. We will submit a request for a covid test to the lab in the Providence Health Park, 3841 Piper Street, Suite T211, about a week before the surgery. We will call to let you know the request has been sent and to remind you to go to get the test. The lab is open from 7 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday and from 7 AM to 3 PM on Saturday. They will fax the results to our office. It takes several days to get the results, and we need to review them prior to confirming the surgery with you the day before. We recommend you go as soon as possible to have the test done once you are contacted. The day before the surgery, the surgery coordinator will contact you with your arrival time, the time to have your child stop eating and drinking the night before, and when to stop even small sips of water. She will also review the best type of clothing for your child to wear, what you should bring to the appointment, and what to expect when you arrive. She will also ask if there have been any changes in your child’s health. A change in health, especially the development of a cold, cough, or fever, could indicate a need to reschedule the surgery.
On the day of the surgery, we ask that one parent or legal guardian arrive on time with only the patient scheduled. We kindly ask that all siblings remain in the care of another caretaker, as your child will need your full attention. There will be a surgical consent form, a covid consent form, and an informed consent for anesthesia that can only be signed by a parent or a legal guardian with the appropriate court paperwork in hand. The anesthesiologist will meet with you to review the health questionnaire, H&P notes if applicable, and your child’s current health. They will weigh your child and discuss with both of you how the process works. When the time comes, the patient will go back to one of our operatories to “blow up a balloon.” We ask that the parent remains in our reception area. We will update you during the procedure if there are any changes to the treatment plan. Our doctor will meet with you after the surgery to discuss how things went, explain any changes, and let you know if any follow-up visits are needed. The surgical coordinator will then set those appointments for you and collect the patient portion of the fee. The fee for the anesthesia will be based on the total time the team from Northern Lights Dental Anesthesia is with your child. They will process your payment later in accordance with the financial agreement you sign for them. Once your child is ready to wake up, you will be escorted to the room where they are coming out from under the anesthesia. You will be asked to sit with them as they wake up. Once they are awake enough to satisfy the anesthesiologist, you will be able to go home. A wheelchair and assistance to your car will be provided. After surgery, your child will have a restricted diet and activities for 24 hours. You should reserve the remainder of the surgery day to carefully observe and take care of your child as they will be groggy and uncoordinated.
The primary concern of everyone involved in this process is your child’s safety and wellbeing. We are honored to be chosen to care for your child and improve their oral health. If you have any questions or concerns before, during, or after the surgery, the surgical coordinator and our doctors can be reached at 907‐336‐1234. There is an after‐hours number on our voicemail. The anesthesiologist can be reached at 907‐268‐3109. Thank you for allowing us to care for you and your child.