I need to have extensive dental work done and I only feel comfortable with this amount of work if I am sedated. However, I have recently heard a story on the news that a young girl died getting treatment from a sedation dentist. As I investigated a bit more, I found other cases in which this same thing happened. Now I am second guessing whether or not I should even get this dental work done all at once, or if I should avoid sedation and make my way through one treatment at a time. Is it really dangerous to see a sedation dentist?
Dr. Doan is a La Jolla sedation dentist who discusses the pros and cons of this service with many patients. We understand your concerns, and we cannot deny that any type of sedation, whether dental or medical, is not completely without risk. That being said, the odds are in your favor that you will have no problem at all. Most dentists go their entire career without a patient experiencing issues from sedation.
It is general anesthesia that poses the greatest risk, and even then the risk is very small. In dentistry, general anesthesia is not the norm. Most patients are treated with medications formulated to relieve anxiety and to relax the body and mind. These are not intended to put you “under.” This means that you will be able to breathe without assistance and swallow on your own.
Prior to treatment, your dentist should review your medical history and obtain a list of any medications you are currently taking. This enables him or her to compare important data in advance of your treatment so you are given the proper dosage of sedative or anti-anxiety medication.
Another important aspect to consider is that your dentist has completed extensive training in order to safely deliver sedation to patients. This training also involves how to handle an emergency situation. First and foremost, a dentist must know how to recognize a problem and must call emergency services right away. The cases that you found likely involved general anesthesia and a lack of recognition, or lapse in time before calling an ambulance.
You deserve to have peace of mind about your upcoming treatment. We suggest that you speak with your dentist and ask questions. How will you be monitored while sedated? Will they be able to tell you are getting sufficient oxygen? Will you be monitored constantly while under their care? What is their emergency protocol should an issue arise? Knowing that your dental office has such measures in place should enable you to feel you are in good hands.
This blog is sponsored by La Jolla cosmetic dentist Dr. Stephen Doan.