I’m Terrified!

It would be strange for you not to be anxious about surgery or a consultation. Most people have a problem that has caused them to seek help but everyone has different expectations about each aspect of care. Tell Wayne what makes you nervous and what you want as the ideal management.

Cost of treatment

Anxiety about cost and the feeling that pain or infection has forced you to seek help can be more stressful than the surgery itself. The purpose of this website is to give you as much information as possible to eliminate this anxiety. Guides to the price of consultations, X-rays and procedures are listed along with an explanation of each procedure. Ways of paying for surgery and eligibility for help with payment are listed under “Financial policy and Fees”. You will be given a written estimate of all costs and this will be discussed before you decide on any treatment. 

I’m ok until I sit in the chair…

There are three main methods for making surgery a relaxing and often happy event! Wayne will talk with you about the options of treatment and you can decide together what is most appropriate for you.

1. Local Anaesthesia

Minor procedures such as biopsies, removal of a single tooth, short procedures can be carried out with normal Local Anaesthetic where the area of surgery is anaesthetised or “made numb” with an injection of anaesthetic. The anaesthetic I use is a more potent version (Articaine) of routine dental anaesthetic, an additional long acting local anaesthetic called “Marcaine” or “Bupivicaine” is used as well to keep the area numb and pain free for 5-12 hours after surgery.

The benefit of Local Anaesthetic (LA) is that immediately following the procedure you can leave the surgery and return to normal activities.

2. Intravenous (IV) Sedation

IV sedation is the most popular method of treatment, 70% of patients will have treatment in this manner. You can read more in the section on IV Sedation. In short, you are given medication into a vein. The sedation works within 30 seconds and has the effect of removing any anxiety, you feel relaxed, sleepy and usually quite happy. You do not actually loose consciousness and can respond to us when questioned, this makes it very safe and if at any time you are uncomfortable you can tell us. You are still given local anaesthetic although you tend not to notice this at all. The BIG ADVANTAGEof IV sedation is that you almost always have no recall of the surgery, at the completion of surgery you are given a reversal agent to speed your recovery and you feel fully awake after 20 seconds. The most common comment at this time is “have we started yet?” and the look of disbelief when I tell you we have finished. For the patient it feels like it has taken 1 minute and they just closed their eyes for a moment.

IV Sedation costs $350. Despite feeling fully awake you are not safe to be left unsupervised for the next 4 hours and will need an escort to be with you for this time. To read more click here.

3. General Anaesthetic (GA)

A General Anaesthetic means you are completely asleep. This is the type of anaesthetic you recieve when having surgery for tonsils, grommets, removal of appendix and any major operation. Wayne offers treatment under General Anaesthetic at Boulcott Hospital. There is a specialist doctor (Anaesthetist) who provides you with the anaesthetic and looks after you while asleep and Wayne performs the surgery.There are a number of reasons for having a GA; Wayne may recommend a GA because of the technical difficulty of the procedure or because it is difficult to obtain local anaesthesia. Patients will often request a GA because of young age or a very nervous person who wants the certainty of being asleep for the entire procedure. Some people just prefer GA over the other options. There are no large differences in recovery between GA and IV sedation, most patients stay 1-2 hours after their surgery and are ready to go home.

The most significant factor in deciding on a GA is the cost. Medical Health insurance or ACC will usually cover the cost of a General Anaesthetic. The cost can vary greatly and is based on the time in theatre and consumables, as a very loose guide a standard set of 4 wisdom teeth will cost approx $3000 for the anaesthetist and Boulcott Hospital fee, the Surgical fee is in addition to this. Prices can vary by $1000 – $2000 and insurance accepts these variations, if you are paying directly then a fixed price can usually be worked out in advance. Boulcott Hospital offers an agreed flat rate for orthodontic removal of premolars in children, $1975 for up to four premolars removed, includes surgeon, anaesthetist and hospital fee.

Wayne will talk with you at your consultation about these options, it is useful to know the exact name of your insurance policy and a phone call to your insurer prior to you appointment can help with your decision process.

What about afterwards?

Following surgery you will experience post operative pain and there may be minor bleeding. This is a very important area to address because, managed well, your recovery will be smooth and you will know what to expect and how to deal with any problems.

There is a comprehensive “Surgical Instructions” section of this website which you should read fully and refer to during your recovery. Click here.

At your consultation Wayne will outline your recovery and what to expect including time off work, pain levels, medication use and other details particular to your surgery such as flying, sports and foods. He will give you a prescription for medications so that you can collect these from a pharmacy prior to your surgical appointment and have everything prepared at home.

If you do have an unexpected problem or want advice or assurance then please call the office or if it is afterhours contact Wayne via text, email or phone. Following surgery the aim of Wayne and his team is toget you back to your normal life as quickly and uneventfully as possible.