Most children can receive treatment in the typical office setting. However, there are times when it is necessary to complete dental treatment on patients while they are under general anesthesia. This is especially true when the child is very young and/or has extensive treatment needs. For patients with more complicated medical histories, this form of treatment is sometimes preferred.

General anesthesia renders your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having their tonsils removed or having ear tubes placed. Outpatient General Anesthesia is performed in a hospital or outpatient surgery center setting and anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist. While the assumed risks are greater than that of other treatment options, the benefits of this treatment greatly outweigh the risks.

Prior to Your Appointment:

  •  Please notify us of any change in your child’s health such as a fever, ear infection, cold or cough. Should your child become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
  • Please inform the doctor of any prescriptions that your child is currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
  • Please dress your child in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Your child should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure, and ONLY clear liquids like water, apple juice, or Gatorade for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.
  • The child’s parent or legal guardian must remain at the hospital or surgical site waiting room during the complete procedure.

After the Appointment

  • Your child will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm.
  • If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea.
  • Your child’s first meal should be light and easily digestible.
  • If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit. • Prior to leaving the hospital/outpatient center, you will be given a detailed list of “Post-Op Instructions” and an emergency contact number if needed.

Hospital & Surgery Centers


Dr. Foster and Dr. Ziegler are both trained and experienced in hospital dentistry. They both maintain privileges at Community Medical Center and Providence Surgery Center and routinely provide dental treatment in the operating room setting. If the Drs. recommend this option, your child will be closely monitored throughout his or her appointment by expert anesthesia staff. Your child’s safety and comfort are our top priorities. If you have any questions, please contact us today at 406-393-3773.

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Patient Forms

Save yourself some time! Here are some links to download commonly-needed forms that require processing prior to your visit.