General Anesthesia Services
GENERAL ANESTHESIA SERVICES (Dental Surgery)
General anesthesia is a management technique that uses medications to cause the child to become unconscious and asleep while receiving dental care. With your child's safety of utmost importance to us, we choose to complete all of our general anesthesia procedures in an operating room under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.
The proper candidates for general anesthesia are usually children with severe anxiety, extensive medical problems and/or people with special needs who require extensive dental treatment and cannot tolerate treatment in the dental office under normal circumstances.
Although there is some risk associated with general anesthesia, it is safe when administrated by an appropriately trained anesthesiologist. Our pediatric dental surgeons are some of the most experienced in our country in providing dental treatment using general anesthesia. Our doctors have worked with our anesthesiology teams in their respective hospitals for over a decade, and now offer the same service within our ambulatory surgery facility.
ABOUT DR. ELAN KAUFMAN
Dr. Elan Kaufman is a board-certified pediatric dental surgeon, specializing in all aspects of children's dental health. He earned his Doctorate of Dental Medicine degree at Boston's prestigious Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. He also completed a residency program in the Specialty of Pediatric Dentistry at Brookdale University Hospital in New York. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and Associate Member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Kaufman serves as the Chief of Pediatric Dental Medicine & Surgery at New York City’s St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospitals, as well as Brooklyn’s Coney Island Hospital.
In between surgeries, he devotes his time to teaching pediatric dentistry to pediatric and general dental residents at several NYC hospitals. Dr. Kaufman has held many leadership positions in several local, state, and national dental organizations, and served as the Chairman of the Oral Health Committee of New York Chapter II of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Kaufman is the President and Founder of the Children’s Dental Foundation, Inc., a non-for-profit organization aimed at providing optimal dental care to needy and less-fortunate children. Kaufman Children's Dental Hospital has offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as a fully-accredited ambulatory surgery center for treatment of children using sedation and general anesthesia. Anesthesia is provided by our Board-certified anesthesiologist, while early and advanced orthodontics are provided by our orthodontist.
Complimentary Consultation for General Anesthesia Services
Dr. Kaufman's distinguished training and extensive experience has made him one of the most sought after dentists in his field. Your consultation will include a review of your child's dental history, including recent unsuccessful attempts at treatment. X-rays are not always necessary for this initial consultation but if you have them available, please bring them with you. If any additional x-rays are required for more specific diagnosis, we will let you know at that time. Dr. Kaufman then combines this information to provide an accurate diagnosis and review of treatment options. He also takes the time to allow the parents and child to explain what is most important to them to achieve with their recommended treatment, and to answer any questions or address specific concerns that may arise during the visit. By working closely with each family, Dr. Kaufman develops an individualized plan of treatment for the patient.
Safety Concerns for General Anesthesia for Dental Treatment
Our Brooklyn facility is the first of its kind - we are the only pediatric dental facility that has its own ambulatory surgery center, accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF), the premier body governing the accreditation of office-based surgical facilities, and ensuring the highest quality standards in ambulatory surgery care. For treatment using sedation or general anesthesia, we have exceeded the required safety measures as recommended by the American Dental Association.
The main concern with this type of anesthesia in the pediatric patient is to maintain an open airway and adequate breathing. This is routine for an anesthesiologist. Their expertise lies in managing the unconscious patient and making sure their breathing and all other physiologic functions are maintained. They continually monitor the patient's level of anesthesia, vital signs and breathing throughout the treatment, never leaving them during the procedure.
The risk of an allergic reaction during general anesthesia is very remote. It has been reported in the literature with propofol but it is very rare. If your child is allergic to eggs or to soy, we would not use this particular anesthetic during sedation since there is an increase in risk of an allergic reaction to propofol in the presence of these food allergies. Similarly, if gas anesthesia is used for your child's maintenance anesthetic, there is a very remote possibility of developing an untoward reaction known as malignant hyperthermia but we are equipped with dantrolene, the treatment, if this exceedingly rare condition occurs.
While the assumed risks of general anesthesia are greater than that of other treatment options, if this is suggested for your child, the benefits of treatment this way have been deemed to outweigh the risks. Most pediatric medical literature places the risk of a serious reaction in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 200,000, far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily.
The inherent risks if this is not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and possible emotional and/or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment. The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, the spread of new decay, damage to their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalization from a dental infection.