Why Does My Child Need General Anesthesia?
The following is to address some questions and concerns we often face in our world of Pediatric Dentistry and General Anesthesia. The biggest being “Why does my child need General Anesthesia?”
At Red Apple, we take in, and treat up to 120 new patients a month. I know, crazy right?! Out of that 120 patients, we may come across 2-3 children who have significant enough anxiety, behavioral issues, or treatment needed that we recommend General Anesthesia for it to be done. That’s roughly 2% of our patient population. So being as uncommon as it is, we still find the need and have seen the demand for it. General Anesthesia is a form of sedation, which is administered by an IV. This is in a controlled setting, with a team of highly skilled and trained individuals.
Our Anesthesia provider Dr. Sandhu is a dental anesthesiologist, meaning he specializes in anesthesia specifically for dental treatment. Before we do General Anesthesia in the office, we first get a significant medical history from the parents and also have them see their pediatrician as a precautionary visit to make sure they are in their peak health and can handle going under. After we have reviewed the child and family medical histories, we then get the OK from our Anesthesia provider, and the child can be scheduled for their appointment.
Why Do We Do It In The Office Instead Of The Hospital?
We offer General Anesthesia as a convenience to our patients, and nothing more. We previously had privileges at the local hospital, but they did not have the proper equipment for Dental, and we would have to mobilize ours and that leaves room for error.
We like to have every resource available to us, and what better way to ensure that than doing it in our own office where we have everything we need for dental? The anesthesiologist has already specially mobilized his equipment and has his own operating room on wheels. We set up everything the same day, run the functions tests, and begin getting ready for the cases.
Why doesn’t our office submit to insurances for anesthesia?
Our office is only contracted with dental insurances, and only for our provider. Our anesthesia provider is a private contractor and his own entity. For us to submit to anesthesia he would have to be an employee of our practice and contracted with our insurances. And he is simply not. We typically only find the need for his services every 6-8 weeks. We do however submit and handle all dental related claims and assist you in every way we can to make the reimbursement process as easy as possible. The anesthesiologist provides you with a detailed “superbill” at the end of the case which will contain his professional information including his Tax ID, GA license number, the CDT(dental) codes, ICD-9(medical) codes, diagnostic codes, the fee paid by you for services rendered. The form also specifically states you already paid for these services and should be reimbursed directly. We recommend submitting one to the Dental and Medical insurance companies as most of the time, these procedures are deemed medically necessary due to age, behavioral diagnosis, or amount of treatment needed.
We hope this will create an understanding and clear up any confusion regarding the General Anesthesia services offered at our practice. There is no monetary gain for us, it is only to make our patient’s experiences as comfortable as possible, and to make it as convenient as possible for the parents. In the event that any of our patient’s parents are not comfortable having anesthesia done in the office, we will always gladly provide a referral to another local dentist who will take them to Fredericksburg Mary Washington Health Campus. We only want what’s best for our patients and what they’ll feel most comfortable with! If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we would be more than happy to answer in as much detail as possible.