The Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation just completed its first annual Sedation Dentistry Safety Week!
This is important as patient safety should always be first priority in
patien t care. Topics included "The Sedation Dentist Safety
Checklist." There are many things that all competent sedation dentists should do (and you should make certain that your dentist is doing). 1) Upmost is training. The doctor should be trained minimally in
oral conscious sedation by a competent organization. To be more
certain about sedation effectiveness, the doctor should be trained in
IV sedation and properly certified to perform these services. We
HIGHLY recommend that the patient verify the training of the provider. 2) Equally important is continuing education. Medicine, pharmacology,
and dentistry are constantly evolving and the education must be updated! 3) The staff should also be trained not only in life support, but in
emergency procedures. Monthly training should continue to assure that
skills are “kept sharp.” We have our staff trained with IMEP—the Institute of Medical Emergency Preparedness, which also send out monthly office "drills" to keep skills up-to-date. 4) The doctor should also maintain his skills in emergency medicine.
I would recommend for most to have their ACLS certification (advanced
cardiac life support certification)
. 5) Second the office should have the proper medications to use as needed—and they need to be up to date (not expired). 6) The patient’s medications may need to researched to verify that no
drug interactions exist that may preclude a safe and effective visit. 7) Certain equipment is essential to monitor the patient’s condition during the entire procedure and during
recovery. Most essential is the pulse-oximeter which monitors the
pulse, blood oxygen, and blood pressure. Many of the worse “accidents”
have occurred when these simple vital signs are not carefully monitored. 8) Keeping the patient’s medical history completely updated so that the proper protocols are maintained at all times. 9) Working with the patient’s physician as needed to verify and clarify the patient’s needs and condition. 10) Should the patient’s physical or mental condition not be suitable for in-office sedation, the proper referrals to hospital or physician assisted procedures must be performed.
Patient’s have the right to speak freely to their health care providers about their concerns and safety.