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“Sleep Away Camp”  (General Anesthesia)


What is general anesthesia?
General anesthesia is the state of pharmacologically induced “sleep”. When you are told that someone will need to be “asleep” for a procedure, often surgical, this is a reference to being placed under general anesthesia.  The aim of general anesthesia administration is to provide a lack of sensation and to ensure amnesia (no memory) and analgesia (no pain).


When and why is general anesthesia used for treatment?
General anesthesia may be recommended for a person for several reasons.  Most commonly in our pediatric dental office, general anesthesia is recommended when a child is very young, very fearful, uncooperative or has special circumstances that will not allow them to cooperate for needed treatment.  Often, when general anesthesia is recommended, there is a large amount of dental treatment needed or the procedure is too long or uncomfortable to be tolerated by the patient in an awake state.


It is our goal to provide safe, excellent care (in that order) and to provide a non-traumatic experience for our patients.  Sometimes, this is only possible through the use of general anesthesia.


Dr. Patty is credentialed with Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau. Our Activities Coordinator, Elizabeth, is excellent in answering all questions in preparing you for your kiddos “Sleep Away” experience. She will communicate directly with the hospital on your behalf to schedule the required visits. Elizabeth will also be happy to discuss any insurance or financial questions that you may have. 

Does my child HAVE to have general anesthesia for their care?

Emphatically NO!  Only a parent or legal guardian can decide if their child MUST receive care utilizing the method of general anesthesia.  Dr. Patty respects the rights of a parent or guardian to decide this for their child.  Our goal is to support parents in making the best decision for their child.  Sometimes the wishes and desires of a parent or guardian to avoid general anesthesia may conflict with Dr. Patty’s ability to successfully meet their criteria in treating a child (safety, quality of care, the least traumatic method of treatment for the child, most positive experience possible).  In these cases, families will be encouraged to find a dental home that may be willing to pursue another avenue or approach to treatment which differs from the philosophy of this practice.

Premier Dental Anesthesia Nurse


Hello Campers!  My name is Jerica and I am the Premier Dental Anesthesiology nurse you will meet for your "Sleep Away Camp" adventure.  My job is to make sure you are relaxed for your dental adventure and to keep you safe at "Sleep Away Camp".  I have been a nurse since 2013 and have been with Camp Merkley since 2022.  When I'm not busy at Camp Merkley, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, gardening and basking in the sun.  I can't wait to meet you!

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