Department of Dentistry | Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Dental OR: FAQs

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Are there any other options besides the operating room?
In addition to being seen in the operating room, some children could be treated under conscious sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Both these treatments are performed in our dental clinic. Under normal circumstances, dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia is the last resort.

Although my child has been seen by a dentist, does he still need to be seen by a Children's Hospital Dentist before going to the OR?
Yes! After examining children, we often find that some children can be treated in our dental clinic and may not require treatment in the OR.

How long is the waiting list for the OR?
The wait can be up to seven months in Boston. The wait time in Lexington is much shorter.

Will my medical insurance pay for the dental visit since my child is going to the OR?
We send a letter of medical necessity to your medical insurance in an attempt to have the insurance authorize the hospital and anesthesia charges. In addition, we send a pre-treatment estimate to your dental insurance which gives us an estimation of payment for the dental procedures. For more detailed information please see Insurance/Financial Information.

Why does my child need to see his pediatrician for an exam before going to the OR?
Your child needs to be medically cleared for general anesthesia.

Why does my child need to see the anesthesiologist before going to the OR?
If your child has a medical condition that requires specific treatment, then he/she will need to be cleared by an anesthesiologist. This also gives the anesthesiologist the opportunity to create an anesthesia plan that best suits your child's special needs.

Why does my child need a pre-operative appointment before going to the OR?
Your child needs a pre-operative appointment to make sure that the anesthesiologist has all of the necessary information needed to admit your child for observation after surgery.

Will I need a referral?
You will need a referral if your child requires an anesthesia consult, or if your medical insurance has agreed to pay for your child's exam and/or any treatment.

How much will my insurance cover?
It differs in each situation. The OR coordinator will submit the appropriate paperwork to your insurance companies in order to maximize reimbursement.

What should I do if I lose my paperwork?
Call the OR coordinator at 617-355-5174 for new paperwork.

I've been on the waitlist for seven months and I have not received a call. What should I do?
Call the OR coordinator at 617-355-5174 to find out your child's status.

My child is seen by a specialist outside of Children's Hospital. Can we coordinate treatment?
Usually treatment can be coordinated. Any requests for specialist treatment to be coordinated with a dental rehabilitation should be forwarded by the specialist to the OR coordinator prior to the scheduling of the surgery.

My child is seen by an outside specialist. What information does Children's Hospital need in order to schedule a dental rehabilitation?
Each case is different. Your child may require medical clearance from a specialist such as a cardiologist or neurologist. The dentist and/or OR coordinator will let you know what information we will need. For more information please go to Dental Rehab Process.

Question still not answered?
Please email or call us at 617-355-6571. We will respond to your email within two business days.