Our goal is to make children as relaxed as possible regarding treatment. We use a concept called tell-show-do for all children, regardless of age. The technique involves verbal explanations of procedures in phrases appropriate to the developmental level of the patient (tell); demonstrations for the patient of the visual, auditory, olfactory, and tactile aspects of the procedure in a carefully defined, nonthreatening setting (show); and then, without deviating from the explanation and demonstration, completion of the procedure (do). The tell-show-do technique is used with communication skills (verbal and nonverbal) and positive reinforcement.
Sometimes we recommend nitrous oxide/oxygen, also known as laughing gas, to help relax children during their treatment appointment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child’s nose, allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. Nitrous oxide has an excellent safety record and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes nitrous oxide as an effective technique to manage anxiety related to treatment. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully awake and conscious and keeps all natural reflexes. The gas is mild, easily taken, then with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from the body.
General Anesthesia is sometimes recommended for apprehensive children, very young children, and children with special needs who are unable to be treated by other means. The patient is completely asleep and all xrays and treatment can be completed at one time. The general anesthesia is the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed, ear tubes, or hernia repaired. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks.
Our office offers both in-office and outpatient general anesthesia. In all of our cases the anesthesia is administered by board certified medical doctor (MD) anesthesiologists. Both Dr. Dosanjh and Dr. Kim are on staff at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland. The outpatient general anesthesia takes place at Shadelands surgery center in Walnut Creek, run by UCSF Benioff/Oakland Children’s hospital. Operating room time in the main hospital in Oakland can also be scheduled for children with special needs. The doctors are also on staff at Kaiser Oakland.
Sometimes your medical insurance can be utilized to help cover costs of general anesthesia. If we recommend general anesthesia we will discuss the options above, and also review any financial questions or concerns you might have.