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General Anaesthetic

Dental Care under General Anaesthetic

The dentist has three ways to be able to carry out dental treatment:

  • The first method is to have dental treatment sitting in a dental chair with the aid of a local anaesthetic (injection in gum).  This method is usually the easiest and safest way to have treatment.
  • The next option for treatment is sedation. One type of sedation is carried out using a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide breathed in through a nose piece.  This helps make you feel relaxed, but a local anaesthetic may still be used depending on the treatment needed.
  • The last option is to carry out treatment under a general anaesthetic.  A general anaesthetic carries a greater risk of side effects than either of the previous options and is normally only offered if dental treatment is unable to be carried out with the first two options.

The Community Specialist Dental Service is able to offer patients treatment with General Anaesthetic.  We can provide this service at 3 of our local hospitals:

  • Bishop Auckland Hospital
  • Darlington Memorial Hospital
  • University of North Durham Hospital.

The anaesthetic is administered by a Consultant Anaesthetist.

If you are placed on a general anaesthetic waiting list you will receive an appointment in the post asking you to attend one of the three hospitals.  The letter will have information on when and where the procedure will take place, starving instructions, as well as who should attend the appointment with the patient.  Transport to and from the hospital is very important to have arranged prior to the appointment.

On the day of your anaesthetic you will be greeted and looked after on the ward by the nursing staff. The staff will ask questions about your health and if you are taking any medication, then take weight and height measurements.  This is information that is required for the Anaesthetist to help when you go to sleep.  You will also see the Anaesthetist and the Dentist who will be carrying out the treatment on that day.

After the dental treatment is completed you will go into a recovery room.  When you wake up the nursing staff will look after you before you go back to the ward.  When you are back on the ward you will rest.  When the ward staff are happy that you are rested and steady on your feet, they will let you go home with your family or a responsible adult to look after you and take you home. You must travel home by car or taxi. Before you leave you will be given instructions on how to look after your mouth.

'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very thankful and relieved patient'.

Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital of North Durham