General Anaesthesia

Some of our patients require treatment under General Anaesthetic (GA) due to physical/cognitive disabilities or severe dental phobia.

We offer treatment under GA at the following locations:

  • Bellbird Private Hospital (Blackburn)
  • St John of God Private Hospital (Berwick)

Waiting times for general anaesthetic are longer than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You may be asked to fill out paperwork for more than one hospital, in order for us to provide you with care as quickly as possible.

Before a GA can be booked, you will need to have a consultation in our rooms at Blackburn. We will examine your teeth as thoroughly as possible and discuss:

  • Your treatment options under GA
  • Other options for sedation
  • The risks of treatment under GA
  • Your overall oral health and long-term dental care
  • Whether other medical procedures can be performed at the same time (e.g. blood tests)

The decision to proceed with a GA is made carefully after considering the dental benefits vs. the medical risks of the procedure. We normally do not proceed directly to a GA without exploring other options for providing care

Many of our patients have health conditions that increase the risk of treatment under GA. GAs are expensive and they are not an effective way of providing routine maintenance care to prevent dental disease from worsening. We will always consider alternative strategies to help you feel relaxed and comfortable receiving regular examinations and cleaning.

The longer you need to spend under GA, the higher the chance of having a medical complication such as heart attack, stroke or breathing difficulties. If you are able to have some treatment in the dental clinic, this will reduce the amount of time you need to spend under GA, reducing the medical risks. We may have a lot of treatment to do within a limited time, so having some work done in the dental chair will also increase the treatment options available to you (for example, being able to save a tooth with a filling rather than having an extraction).

Finally, dentists have limited access to facilities that provide GA and there may be waiting times for care. Having some simple treatment done before your general anaesthetic could prevent a small problem turning into one that is more expensive and difficult to treat.  

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