Why is it Safer for a Child to Undergo Dental Treatment in an Ambulatory Surgical Center Under General Anesthesia Versus in Office Treatment Under IV Sedation?
Dental treatment of children is not an easy task! They are full of energy and can barely sit straight in the dental chair for more than a few minutes. Most dental practices use intravenous or inhalation sedation to calm down extremely anxious pediatric patients for performing dental procedures. IV sedation is generally associated with greater morbidity and overnight hospital stay, which involves missing school for a day or two, and disturbing the work schedule of parents as well. Keeping this view, ambulatory surgical centers have been developed by dental practices, where time consuming and extensive dental procedures are performed without the need for overnight hospitalization.
Before we dive into the benefits of ambulatory surgical centers over IV sedation in a dental office, let us understand what ambulatory surgical centers are.
What are Ambulatory Surgical Centers?
Ambulatory surgical centers are independent healthcare facilities, which have been specifically designed for providing scheduled ambulatory surgery where there is no need for hospital stay overnight. Dental Ambulatory surgical centers are also known as freestanding outpatient surgery centers, which provide a safe and time-efficient means for treatment of dental problems in children.
Why Ambulatory Surgical Centers are Beneficial?
Most of you would be thinking whether they should get dental treatment of their children done at an ambulatory surgical center. For them, here are a few benefits that these freestanding surgical centers offer over other pediatric dental treatment options.
- Less Hostile Environment for the Child – children often consider a dental practice as a place of horror! Therefore, despite a dentist plans to treat the child under IV sedation, frightened and anxious children will still remain restless in the dental chair and won’t allow the dentist to provide the required treatment. On the other hand, ambulatory surgical centers provide a calm and soothing environment where the child is treated under general anesthesia.
- Safety – ambulatory surgical centers employ full-time anesthetists to monitor the vital signs and status of the children while they are being treated under general anesthesia. This means that the ambulatory surgical centers are better equipped in performing real-time monitoring of their patients and to provide medical treatment, in case a medical or dental emergency arises. In addition, ambulatory surgical centers are certified by federal and state regulatory authorities to ensure patient safety and high quality dental care.
- Convenience – when children are treated under IV sedation, they tend to remain sleepy for a few hours after they have been discharged from the dentist’s office. This is not the case when treatment is done in ambulatory dental centers. In fact, the child will wake up immediately after the procedure and will be fully active and conscious. You can even send your children to school after dental treatment.
- Efficient – treating children at a dental office becomes very difficult, even impossible, when many procedures have to be performed in a single sitting. In these cases, ambulatory surgical centers prove to be extremely useful. Why? Because dentists can plan multiple procedures to be performed on the same the day, when the child is under the effect of a general anesthesia.
- Best for Children with Disabilities – ambulatory surgical centers are an ideal option for the treatment of children who have physical or mental disabilities, especially those who have neuromuscular problems and are unable to sit still. In these children, sudden uncontrolled movements prevent the dentist from providing treatment, and they can accidentally injure the child or a member of the dental team. When these children are placed under general anesthesia, dentists can easily perform extensive and time consuming procedures without any hindrance.
So, what’s the Process?
The process is simple. During a routine dental examination of your child, if a dentist finds that your child has multiple teeth cavities, or several milk teeth need to be extracted, he or she may recommend you consider your child’s treatment under general anesthesia at an ambulatory surgical center.
- Meeting the Anesthesiologist – Before that, you will meet your child’s anesthesiologist, who will evaluate the health status of the child to decide whether he or she is healthy enough to be put under general anesthesia.
- Formulating a Treatment Plan – next, your dentist will prepare an elaborate treatment plan for your child. The treatment plan is prepared in consultation with the anesthesiologist and members of the dental team.
What Happens after the Surgery?
After you wake up from general anesthesia, you’re good to go as soon as your fully conscious and your vital signs are fully normal. Children are discharged under the care of their parents, while adults can drive back home.
Being parents, we understand that nothing is more important than our children’s health and safety. If your kids need dental care, make sure it is performed in a safe and comforting environment such as an ambulatory dental surgical center.