Hospital Dentistry

Why Hospital Dentistry?

In most cases, dental treatment can be completed with a little skill and a lot of tender loving care in our office while patients are awake and able to participate in the process. That being said, however, there are a number of reasons patients may need to have dental procedures completed while “asleep.”  Dr. Villarreal is a physician at Union Hospital, in Terre Haute, IN. On Fridays, you will find him there doing dentistry under General Anesthesia. In order to have dental work done under general anesthesia at the hospital, you must meet one of the following criterias. 

  • Special Developmental Needs, children or adults 
  • Medical Needs
  • Extensive treatment needed in numerous areas of the mouth and very high likelihood of “burn out” (panicking mid-procedure or becoming dental-phobic due to repeated appointments)
  • Very invasive procedures, such as numerous extractions, periodontal disease
  • Defiant or combative behavior
  • Geriatic Patient

Whatever the reason, the decision to recommend a procedure under general anesthesia is very carefully weighed against the risks inherent in proceeding in the office while you are awake.   During the surgery, all of the restorative and surgical procedures will be completed while the patient is “sleeping.”

Risks of completing treatment while a patient is moving erratically include injury and poorly executed dentistry.  Remember that dental procedures are actually a form of microsurgery using handpieces that rotate at speeds up to 200,000 rpms and materials that are extremely sensitive to moisture. 

Is this safe?

While performing any procedure under General Anesthesia has its risks, healthy patients generally do very well under general anesthesia and tend to have very few complications.  To further lessen the risk of potential complications of general anesthesia, treatment is completed in a hospital setting with an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist  to monitor every breath the patient takes and every heartbeat the patient makes.  Should the very unlikely scenario arise where a medical emergency occurs, the hospital setting allows a team of well-trained professionals to intervene with the push of a button.  Edward O. Villarreal, DDS is a specialist who performs these surgeries regularly and is very comfortable with the facilities he has chosen to care for you.   If you have specific concerns about general anesthesia please talk to Edward O. Villarreal, DDS.  This is a common procedure and they are very familiar with its risks and benefits.