General anesthesia at the dentist: costs & procedure
How does general anesthesia work at the dentist? Find out everything about the risks, costs and the process
For many patients with great fear of the dentist, treatment under general anesthesia is an option. In the case of adult phobias in particular, the only practical solution is general anesthesia at the dentist. In this case, costs are in addition to the treatment, but it can be very worthwhile for you as a patient in very painful or complicated dental operations.
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What is general anesthesia??
When the American dentist W.T.G. Morton, who first anesthetized a patient in 1846, was an important cornerstone of modern medicine.
Since then, anesthesia techniques have continuously developed and made numerous advances in medicine possible. Not only anxiety patients benefit from the anesthetic, thanks general anesthetic Today visits to the dentist are free of fear and pain for everyone.
General anesthesia (also called general anesthesia or anesthetic for short) refers to a sleep condition artificially induced by medication, in which consciousness, pain sensation and other body functions are temporarily switched off.
What is anesthetic??
Short anesthesia is a form of general anesthesia in which the patient’s consciousness and pain sensation are only switched off for a short period of time
What exactly happens with general anesthesia??
Why is general anesthesia and not partial anesthesia used by the dentist??
Treatment under general anesthesia offers the dentist ideal working conditions, since unpleasant aids such as a mouth gag can be used without problems for the patient, making it easier to work in the mouth. As a result, the intervention can be carried out quickly and efficiently, even with extensive work such as tooth restoration. Patients benefit from the time-saving treatment and experience a visit to the dental practice without fear and pain. General anesthesia is preferred for patients with fear of the dentist, children or people with intellectual disabilities.
In addition to fear of the dentist or severe restlessness of the patient as well as time-consuming interventions, there are additional decision criteria that speak for therapy under general anesthesia during dental treatment. This includes operations such as the use of several dental implants or the removal of wisdom teeth at the dentist. However, anesthesia can be ineffective if there is severe inflammation, such as an abscess, in the treatment area. Because then local anesthesia cannot work.
In this case, pain is eliminated under general anesthesia. Another indication is the hyperemetic reaction of a patient. This is expressed in an abnormal gag reflex, which makes treatment within the oral cavity extremely difficult.
Read more here about the topics:
Who is this procedure suitable for??
In principle, all interested parties who would like treatment under the ITN (intubation anesthesia) at the dentist can be treated with the help of this procedure. Patients who are unable to lie still in the dentist’s chair due to pain or fear benefit particularly from general anesthesia. The dentist also provides general anesthesia for long surgeries that are accompanied by unpleasant vibrations and noises. So stressful interventions do not have to be experienced with full awareness. It is also used when:
- A local anesthetic does not go deep enough.
- A comprehensive intervention is pending (removal of all four wisdom teeth or use of several dental implants at the same time).
- Anxiety patients (dentist phobia) are treated.
- Children are treated.
- People with intellectual disabilities are treated.
- People with pronounced gag reflex are treated.
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How dangerous is general anesthesia?
Thanks to modern anesthetic techniques, general anesthesia is an extremely safe procedure that is carried out routinely. Anesthetic medications are only administered by specially trained doctors and only in sensitive doses. In addition, the patient’s state of health (vital signs, heart rhythm, blood pressure and blood oxygen content) is monitored intensively during the treatment. Nevertheless, general anesthesia is a strain on the organism, the residual health risk depends primarily on the patient’s state of health.
In any case, your individual risk will be discussed with the dentist (or anesthetist) before the procedure. The general risk of complications during anesthesia is low, the following complications, side effects and side effects are possible:
- Nausea and vomiting after anesthesia (about 10% of patients affected)
- Hoarseness and sore throat due to ventilation tube (about 10% of patients affected)
- Damage to teeth, gums, vocal cords or mucous membrane due to a ventilation tube (rare)
- allergic reactions to anesthetic drugs (very rare)
- Ventilation problems (very rare)
- Cardiovascular system disorders (very rare)
- Backflow of gastric contents into the esophagus and lungs (very rare)
- Death (extremely rare, 0.009%)
- sudden waking up during surgery (extremely rare)
What happens before anesthesia??
Before general anesthesia, the dentist and anesthetist will explain the anesthetic, the procedure, the anesthetic used and the possible risks and answer your questions. During this conversation, your state of health, your medical history and lifestyle are also discussed. All important risks for general anesthesia must be queried.
Medical history and examination
In addition to examining the heart and lungs, the anesthetist also looks at the patient’s lifestyle. This includes eating and drinking habits, smoking or taking drugs. Depending on the sum of the individual factors, the anesthetist creates an individual />
Advice and information
If you are currently taking medication, the dentist will advise you comprehensively, because certain medications must be discontinued several days before an operation with general anesthesia. The doctor will tell you exactly which preparations have to be left out or taken on the day of surgery. The following also applies to all patients:
- Do not take aspirin or other painkillers containing acetylsalicylic acid or other medications that suppress blood clotting a week before the planned anesthetic procedure.
- stop eating six hours before the procedure on the day of anesthesia.
- Water can still be drunk up to two hours before general anesthesia (exception: tablets (s) agreed with the doctor may also be taken later with a little water)
- do not smoke or drink alcohol on the day of anesthesia.
If these rules are not followed, the procedure may have to be postponed because the risk of complications is too great. It is particularly important to avoid eating for a sufficient period of time before anesthesia, otherwise fluids and food components from the stomach can get into the trachea and damage the lungs when unconscious.
How does general anesthesia work??
The various stages of general anesthesia are the sleep phase, the maintenance phase and the wake-up phase.
For general anesthesia, the doctor or anesthetist injects special medications consisting of sleeping pills, pain relievers and muscle-relaxing medicines. The patient relaxes and glides gently into deep sleep.
At the same time, all vital functions (breathing, circulation) are monitored and maintained. A continuous supply of anesthetic medication or gas maintains the sleep state until the end of the operation.
If necessary, additional medication or infusion solutions are administered to stabilize the patient’s condition.
Wake-up phase – How long does it take to wake up from anesthesia??
When the end of the operation is in sight, the administration of anesthetic medication is discontinued and the recovery phase begins. After general anesthesia, patients experience a memory gap, they feel relaxed, but have the feeling that hardly any time has passed.
What to consider after anesthesia?
After anesthesia, patients remain in the dentist’s office for a period of observation (usually up to two hours). General anesthesia is always associated with possible after-effects. Therefore, you will only be released when it is certain that there is nothing wrong with your health and well-being. Fatigue and reduced responsiveness are typical after anesthesia, so for your own safety, you must follow these rules of conduct:
- please do not drive or operate heavy machinery yourself
- please do not drive independently on public transport (it is ideal to have friends or relatives from your practice pick you up, alternatively you can take a taxi home)
- only take medication agreed with the dentist
- drink no alcohol
- don’t do sports
- treat yourself to rest and make no important decisions
- moderate exercise gets your circulation and intestines going again
- do not remain alone for about 24 hours after anesthesia
How much does anesthesia cost??
There is no general answer to the costs of general anesthesia. They depend on the time during which the patient is anesthetized, i.e. the extent of the dental treatment. An hour under general anesthesia costs around 250 euros, every additional half hour is 50 euros. A dental treatment in twilight sleep can make sense instead with many treatments, it only costs around 80 to 180 euros.
So what does general anesthesia cost at the dentist? Let your dentist advise you in detail here which procedure makes sense and which costs you can expect with general anesthesia.
Read more here:
- Dental treatment in deep sleep through sedation
What factors determine the specific costs here?
How much patients pay depends on whether general anesthesia is medically necessary or whether it is a so-called desired anesthetic. If general anesthesia is medically necessary, the health insurance usually pays the costs. A desired anesthetic is a private service that is borne by the patient. The specific costs then depend on the duration of the intervention.
General anesthesia costs – When does the health insurance company pay??
The statutory health insurance companies take over general anesthesia if the following requirements are met:
- Children under the age of twelve are treated under general anesthesia if there is no willingness to treat and local anesthesia is therefore impossible.
- People with disabilities or all patients who cannot cooperate due to their mental state or movement disorders and who can endanger themselves during treatment receive a free general anesthetic.
- Allergies to the narcotics or organic diseases are also a reason for which the statutory health insurance companies cover costs.
- In the case of anxiety patients, the statutory health insurance companies only pay general anesthesia if there is anxiety phobia and this has also been proven by a psychiatric certificate from your treating therapist.
- In the case of major dental surgery, where local anesthesia is not sufficient: your dentist will be happy to explain when this is the case.
If none of these conditions are met, the cost of general anesthesia must be borne by the patient. There are also cases in which anesthesia makes sense, but still has to be financed yourself. This can be the case, for example, if all wisdom teeth are to be extracted in one session.
Read more here about the topics:
- What needs to be considered in the case of children’s anesthesia at the dentist?
- Dentist fear – The fear of the dentist
- Sensitive dental treatment for people with disabilities
Private patient costs
For privately insured patients, it depends on the respective tariff whether the costs for general anesthesia are borne by the private health insurance companies. In any case, the person responsible for the private health insurance should be contacted before the treatment, so that the procedure can be confirmed under general anesthesia with a corresponding cost commitment.
What does general anesthesia cost for wisdom tooth removal??
General anesthesia is a sensible solution for anxiety patients and especially when it comes to removing all four wisdom teeth at once. Instead of working step by step in several sessions, all four wisdom teeth are removed during a visit to the practice.
The intervention must be carried out under general anesthesia, which is billed as a private service. The exact cost depends on the duration of the procedure. Depending on how the roots are located and how difficult it is to remove the teeth, it can take between 10 and 20 minutes per tooth. This results in a duration of just under an hour to about 90 minutes. The cost of general anesthesia for wisdom tooth removal is around 250 to 300 euros.
What does general anesthesia cost in a root tip resection?
In the case of root tip resection, an inflamed tip of a tooth root is cut in a small surgical procedure, the interior of the tooth is cleaned and finally sealed. Local anesthetic is usually sufficient. General anesthesia is useful for anxious patients or if the tissue has become more inflamed. How much general anesthesia costs depends on the length of the procedure. The exact length of the intervention is difficult to estimate in advance.
Basically, the root tip resection on the incisor is faster (about half an hour) than on the molar (about 45 – 60 minutes). In individual cases, the intervention can of course be shorter or longer. The cost of general anesthesia in the case of a root tip resection therefore amounts to 250 euros for the first 60 minutes and, if necessary, a further 50 euros for every additional half hour.
Read more here:
- Treatment in deep sleep as an alternative to general anesthesia
Would you like to learn more about anesthesia at the dentist in Berlin?
Call us now and make an appointment for a free and non-binding consultation at:
Dr. Frank Seidel
This page was last updated on September 16, 2019 by author Dr. Frank Seidel.
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