Delivering Sedation in Dentistry

It has become increasing popular to deliver sedation to patients receiving dental work. Sedation is defined as the deliberate drug-induced depression of consciousness used to reduce anxiety and awareness associated with unpleasant medical procedures. Sedation is used to reduce anxiety.  In some cases dentists or oral surgeons deliver both the dental work and the sedation, while in others there is a separate anesthesiologist to do so. One should always verify proper training and license prior to undertaking any sedation from a healthcare professional. Sedation is generally considered very safe as long as it is performed by an appropriately trained practitioner in a monitored environment. Sedation dentistry uses different approaches depending on personal choice and comfort. In the order of increasing anesthesia these are local anesthesia, minimal sedation, nitrous oxide/oxygen, moderate (conscious) sedation, deep sedation, and general anesthesia. A more thorough discussion … Read more

Informed Consent in Dentistry: Can Change Impact Personal Injury Cases?

An excellent article appears in the Spring 2017 edition of the The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (vol. 45, pp. 77-94) written by Kevin I. Reid titled “Informed Consent in Dentistry.” The article discusses how informed consent is respecting the ethical right of an individual to make decisions about one’s body and only have actions undertaken on their body with authorization without undue influence. In order for informed consent to be considered valid in dentistry the following must occur: (1) the patient is competent and has the ability and capacity to understand and decide, (2) the dentist discloses material information, (3) the patient understands, (4) the patient is voluntarily entering the arrangement, and (5) the patient provides authorization to go ahead. Every patient however comes to a different degree of understanding to authorize treatment based on their prior dental experiences, education, motivation, attention, … Read more

Will Dental School Debt Lead to Future Counseling?

Future dentists these days are being subjected to large amount of loans that are necessary as a part of dental school. This topic has been covered a bit before on this site, see for example http://blog.teethremoval.com/medical-school-student-costs-in-the-u-s-are-affecting-mental-health/ and http://blog.teethremoval.com/medical-students-are-at-risk-for-suicide/. This topic has also been recently discussed on the American Dental Association (ADA) Viewpoint and Letters to the Editor. In an April 18, 2016, letter titled “Dental student loan debt” Dr. Sparkman from Texas said If most dental students today are borrowing over $200,000 to get out of dental school then I have part of the solution in three words. Get a job. Dr. LeMert a 2009 dental school graduate from the state of Washington took issue with this position and found Dr. Sparkman’s position laughable.  He said in a May 16, 2016 letter titled “Dental school reality” Dental school itself was a 60 hour/week … Read more

Your Dentist Can Help Protect You From Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition affecting up to 100 million Americans, making it one of the biggest health concerns facing the U.S.. While it can be managed with a change in diet and prescription medication, there is also a role for your dental practitioner. They will be able to tell from examining your mouth whether you are at risk and can perform procedures to stabilize blood sugar levels. Poor dental health can tell you so much more about your health than just the condition of your teeth and has been linked not just to physical conditions but also to poor mental health. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist if they see any other health concerns during a dental checkup, particularly having to do with diabetes. The Link Between Diabetes and Dental Diseases Even if a doctor hasn’t diagnosed you with diabetes, you … Read more

Medical Students Are At Risk For Suicide

Medical students have the difficult task of learning through science and rigorous academic training to take care of others. Med students can suffer from many ailments including anxiety, stress or migraines or even worse. Being a doctor of any kind is quite simply about learning to make other people feel better, and it’s possible to heal your patient that’s the goal. Unfortunately, there are times when a patient doesn’t make it and that can feel devastating to a med student who is undergoing training, such as a resident. You are just learning and have a sense of optimism about the field. You want to help people, genuinely and seeing your patient die is a tragedy and can leave you feeling depressed. According to The American Medical Student Association, med students are three times as likely to die by suicide than … Read more