Who is a Pediatric Anesthesiologist?

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. Our anesthesiologists receive some of the highest level of training available, so you can be assured your child receives the safest care.

How safe is anesthesia for my child?

Modern anesthesia has never been safer. Our nurses will collect your child’s medical history and it will be reviewed carefully by our doctors. You may be referred to a hospital or surgery center if your child is in a higher risk category.

In the United States, more than 1 million children under the age of four, undergo surgical procedures requiring anesthesia. Young children usually do not undergo anesthesia unless it is medically necessary, if the procedure is postponed it can lead to significant health problems. For more information visit www.smarttots.org.

It is essential that your child does not eat or have any dairy products six hours prior to the procedure. Clear liquids (water, gatorade, jello, popsicles) are allowed up to three hours prior to the procedure.


This is a safety issue and can result in postponing your child’s dental procedure if not followed correctly. Please call the office if you have any questions regarding these directions.

Plan to stay at home with your child the rest of the day; they will be able to go back to their normal daily routine the following day.

What should I expect on the day of the procedure?

Your child will be monitored with the same type of equipment and level of intensity that is used for general anesthesia in the hospital. An IV will be placed after your child is asleep with either flavored sleepy air or a twilight medication injection. Pulse oximeter, blood pressure, EKG, and breathing monitors will be utilized.

We recommend you do not tell your child about the IV, in our experience this only increases their anxiety and may make them more resistant. We like to make it a fun experience for your child to make future dental visits go smoothly.

You will not be able to come in the room while your child is being sedated. This is solely for your child’s safety. Our doctors will be accompanied with a medical team who will be caring for your child.

Can my child be sedated if they have medical problems?

Your child’s safety is our top priority; our doctors will carefully review your child’s medical history and will inform you if your child is not a good candidate for IV sedation in the office. If that is the case, we will refer you to a hospital or surgery center. Insurance companies are now required to cover hospitalizations or outpatient surgical procedures for pediatric dental patients.

Is there anything I need to do before and after the procedure?

It is essential that your child does not eat or have any dairy products six hours prior to the procedure. This is a safety issue and can result in postponing your child’s dental procedure if not followed correctly.

Plan to stay at home with your child the rest of the day; they will be able to go back to their normal daily routine the following day.

Will insurance cover this?

We are not a provider for any insurance company; therefore you will need to pay out of pocket prior to the procedure. However, we will help you receive the maximum benefits possible. You can contact your insurance company to preauthorize the care ( see the insurance section of this website).

Questions to ask your dentist about anestheia & sedation for your child

The American Dental Association offers the following questions that parents and guardians should ask concerning in-office sedation or general anesthesia for their children provided either by the dentist or by a separate sedation/anesthetic practitioner in that dental ofiice. The ADA recommends talking to your dentist about any concerns you might have about the treatment plan prior, during and after the procedure:

Prior To The Procedure

Who will provide the preoperative evaluation of my child including their past medical history such as allergies, current prescription medications and previous illnesses and hospitalizations?

A PDAA nurse will call you to get this information and it will be reviewed by an anesthesiologist several days before the procedure to insure your child is safe for anesthesia. This information will again be reviewed on the day of the procedure when your child is examined by the anesthesiologist.

What is the recommended time that my child should be without food or drink prior to the procedure (with the exception of necessary medications taken with a sip of water)? - Will any sedation medication be given to my child at home prior to their coming to the office and, if so, how should they be monitored?

You will be given eating and drinking instructions by our nursing staff. Your child must not have any solid foods for six hours prior to the procedure and may have clear liquids BM (Remove “BM”) three hours prior to procedure. Nothing by mouth for three hours prior to the procedure. Most children do not require sedative medications before coming to the office. In the event that a sedative is required, you will be given specific instructions.

What training and experience does the sedation/anesthesia provider have in providing the level of sedation or anesthesia that is planned for the procedure? Does this training and experience meet all of the standards of the ADA Guidelines for the Use of Sedation and General Anesthesia by Dentists?

Your child will be administered anesthesia by a board certified anesthesiologist with pediatric subspecialty training. This is the highest standard of care available.

Does the staff assisting in the procedure have current training in emergency resuscitation procedures, such as Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, and other advanced resuscitation courses as recommended by the ADA Guidelines? Is this training regularly renewed?

The PDAA staff have training in Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Emergency drills are performed on a regular basis.

Does the state dental board require a special sedation/anesthesia permit or license that allows for the sedation/anesthesia provider to administer this specific level of sedation or anesthesia in the dental office?

Yes and PDAA meets or exceeds all state requirements

During The Procedure

In addition to the use of local anesthesia (numbing), what level of sedation or general anesthesia will be given to my child? Is it minimal sedation (relaxed and awake), moderate sedation (sleepy but awake), deep sedation (barely awake) or general anesthesia (unconscious)?

Your child will receive only enough medication for deep sedation/ light general anesthesia in which your child will be unconscious but still breathing on their own with normal blood pressure and vital signs.

How will my child be monitored before, during and after the procedure until the child is released to go home? Are the appropriate emergency medications and equipment immediately available if needed, and does the oifice have a written emergency response plan for managing medical emergencies?

PDAA monitors all physiologic variables and following all national standards. All emergency medications and equipment are immediately available.

After The Procedure

Will the sedation/anesthesia provider give me instructions and emergency contact information if there are any concerns or complications after returning home?

You will receive detailed discharge instructions which include the cellphone number to your pediatric anesthesiologist.

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