Personalized Care

Dentistry in the Operating Room

With education, patience, and reassurance, almost every patient can be treated in the traditional dental setting. Additionally, almost all dental surgery and more involved procedures can be done under local anesthesia. However, some patients need to be placed under general anesthesia, or "put to sleep", to get dental work. This is usually due to behavioral reasons, but may also be due to intense anxiety that cannot be treated with desensitization and therapy. It may also be necessary for those with medical conditions involving tremors, extensive contracture, or other issues that make it impossible to sit in the dental chair and receive treatment.

In these cases, patients can be brought to a hospital and placed under general anesthesia. While the patient is sleeping, the dentist treats the entire mouth in one visit. This may include an examination, radiographs, fillings, extractions, deep cleanings, and any other needed procedure. The visit usually takes between one and four hours. After the dental work is finished, the patient is awakened and sent to the recovery room as an outpatient where he or she is sent home in around an hour. Patients will need to be escorted to and from the hospital.

Dr. Wagner performs operating room dentistry on adults and children at the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton, Mass.