The risks of dental sedation

dental malpractice blog 2Blog submitted by Dane Levy Attorney of, a provider of legal services for those injured by dental malpractice in California

Often dentists offer patients powerful drugs in order to face dental procedures. Dentists say that they have to offer patients these drugs, as they have previously been traumatized by painful dental procedures.

Patients have become comfortable in requesting and have been given powerful intravenous sedative, which in previous cases only required an injection to numb the area that needed work.

Major dental procedures like root canals and wisdom teeth extractions, however, do require sedation. But since dentists are offering sedation for smaller procedures, the level of anesthesia deaths has risen.

Anesthesia is safe and supported by The American Dental Association, as long as the anesthesiologist is well trained to administer the anesthesia. The dentist should also have experience in reacting to emergency outcomes of the procedure. Although emergency cases are rare, they can cause anesthesia injuries and/or death.

Some states have now (the state of Illinois) made a 75-hour training program on sedation instructions compulsory for all dentists. It is hoped that other states will follow this trend to create a standard within the industry.

To reach a happy medium, a fast growing trend has emerged called “relaxation dentistry”. This is a form of dentistry that uses minimal sedation for anxious patients. This form of sedation is considered safe and leaves the patient in full consciousness. The medicines administered are mild anti-anxiety medication or nitrous oxide.