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General anesthesia at the dentist: procedure & Reimbursement
by Thomas Hamann
written on June 30th, 2018
For many sufferers, fear of the dentist can lead to long-term damage to the teeth. (© pathdoc – fotolia) There are situations that leave traumatic wounds after visiting the dentist. Tales from acquaintances can stir up treatment phobias, so that normal therapy at the dentist is no longer imaginable.
The mere thought of visiting a dentist or dental treatment leads to discomfort and anxiety, sweating, rapid heartbeat and dizziness and even panic attacks. The result of this cycle is obvious: Often, those affected do not go to the dentist for years, and the need for treatment is constantly increasing.
What are the consequences of fear of dentists??
Even large damage to teeth and gums with accompanying toothache, not to mention the aesthetic problem, cannot induce those affected to visit the dentist.
Not only that the chewing power decreases steadily during this time. Due to the toothache, which sometimes lasts for years, both the bad conscience increases and the self-esteem decreases. This not only affects the joie de vivre, it also greatly reduces social contacts. One often crawls out of shame in his four walls.
Over time, an almost "insurmountable obstacle" piles up like a gigantic mountain.
How can such a cycle be broken??
An aid is a renovation under general anesthesia. So you can be sure that the dental treatment is painless and does not have to be lived through. This knowledge alone is enough for many to take the first big step in making contact.
Thanks to modern anesthesia procedures and compatible anesthetics, the anesthetic time and depth can be precisely dosed depending on individual needs. Often, a single session is enough to perform a variety of treatments, such as
- the removal of tartar, caries or broken teeth
- Implantation with bone structure
- Root canal treatments
- amalgam redevelopment
- grinding the teeth for the subsequent dentures and simultaneous provisional restoration
In other words, all of the "uncomfortable" can take place in deep sleep without the patient noticing.
In most cases, anesthesia can be performed on an outpatient basis. Dentures are usually used conventionally, with local anesthesia if desired.
General anesthesia can help many anxiety patients to have important treatments carried out. (© Dawna Martinez – fotolia) With sedation with nitrous oxide or with medication, i.e. partial anesthesia or twilight sleep, several sessions are sometimes necessary to carry out the treatments mentioned.
Thanks to the anesthetist’s preliminary examination, the risks of anesthesia are relatively low. The body quickly breaks down the medication used. After anesthesia, you only feel light-headed temporarily. Additional anesthetic treatment is usually not necessary.
The patient has broken the cycle of fear and poor oral health mentioned above. The self-esteem increases and the joie de vivre also increases.
It is important that regular checks and professional tooth cleaning should take place after the completed treatment, the so-called prophylaxis. This protects the teeth from further damage.
How does anesthesia with anesthesia work??
General anesthesia is carried out exclusively by trained doctors, the anesthesiologists. They examine the patient carefully, usually in their own practice or in the familiar environment of the dental practice. The anesthetist and his assistant are present on the agreed dentist appointment to perform general anesthesia. The technology that is available corresponds to the standard in the hospital.
The patient should not eat anything six hours before anesthesia or drink four hours beforehand. At the beginning, he receives a means of falling asleep. The patient is then ventilated through the nose.
The depth of anesthesia is controlled so that the treatment can be carried out without pain. The optimal dosage keeps the stress on the circulation as low as possible. After treatment, the anesthesia is removed and the patient wakes up. After a rest period of usually about an hour, he can leave the practice together with an accompanying person.
If general anesthesia is covered by the statutory health insurance companies?
Treatment under general anesthesia is one of the obligations of the statutory health insurance if another type of pain elimination is not possible. It is necessary to clarify beforehand whether general anesthesia is appropriate and is financed by the statutory health insurance.
As a rule, the statutory health insurance company pays general anesthesia
- in children up to the age of twelve
- if another type of pain elimination is not possible due to a lack of cooperation
- if you have intellectual disabilities or severe dyskinesia (movement disorder)
- for interventions in oral, maxillofacial and facial surgery for which treatment under local anesthesia is not possible
To decide whether the statutory health insurance company will cover the costs, the anesthesiologist needs proof that the patient has been undergoing psychological treatment for six months. The type of dental care also plays a major role for the anesthetist. If the treatment corresponds to the standard care provided by the statutory health insurance company, the general anesthetic can also be used.
If there are other concerns for treatment under general anesthesia, the insured person must bear the costs themselves.
Dentists will be happy to advise you.
This article is for general information only, not for self-diagnosis, and is not a substitute for a doctor’s visit. It reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of jameda GmbH.
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