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

TeethRemoval.com in the Scientific Literature

Readers of this blog may sometimes not take the scientific merit of this site very seriously. Even so the site attempts to provide some up to date research on wisdom teeth (also known as third molars), dentistry, and other topics in medicine. In the past years several pages of this site including http://www.teethremoval.com/complications.html and http://www.teethremoval.com/dental_deaths.html have been cited in scientific article publications and posters. I wanted to draw attention to three instances of this occurring. First, an instance of citing the complications page came in an article titled “Time to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth!?” written by Michelle G. Tran from University of California, Davis appearing in the Lent 2013 edition (vol. 18, University of Cambridge) of the Science in Society Review by the Triple Helix, pages 20 to 21. See http://camtriplehelix.com/archive/journal/issue/18.  This is the University of Cambridge site but it appears there are 18 universites that … Read more

AAOMS Issues New Position Paper on Medication-related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

Earlier in 2014, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons issued a new position paper on Medication related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (MRONJ) see http://www.aaoms.org/docs/position_papers/mronj_position_paper.pdf?pdf=MRONJ-Position-Paper. The condition in the past has been called Bisphosphonate-related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw but both antiresorptive and antiangiogenic therapies are associated with it so the name has been updated. MRONJ appears as non-healing exposed bone in the mouth and may affect patients undergoing intravenous cancer-related therapy or those treated with oral or IV bisphosphonates for osteoporosis. The paper states that patients may be considered to have MRONJ if the following characteristics are present: Current or previous treatment with antiresorptive or antiangiogenic agents; Exposed bone or bone that can be probed through an intraoral or extraoral fistula(e) in the maxillofacial region that has persisted for more than eight weeks; No history of radiation therapy to … Read more

The Culture of Safety in Oral and Maxilofacial Surgery

Previously in a post over at http://blog.teethremoval.com/upcoming-changes-to-joms-and-aaoms-in-2014/, I discussed how the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is introducing a new perspectives section which “…will offer essays written on topics of interest to our specialty, including health policy, clinical controversies, and education and research matters, as examples.” On of the first perspectives section is written by Suzanne Morse Buhrow and titled “Promoting a Culture of Safety in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: The Time Is Now!” in the February 2014 Journal of Oral and Maxilofacial Surgery, pp. 239-240. The article opens by discussing the origins of the patient safety movement in the 1980s after the Institute of Medicine said 98,000 patients will die and 1.5 million will be injured every year from preventable medical errors in the United States. The article mentions how the National Practitioner Data Bank in the U.S. … Read more

Active Surveillance For Managing Retained Wisdom Teeth

An interesting expert opinion by Thomas B. Dodson appears in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery vol. 70, issue 9, supplement 1, pages 20-24, 2012, titled ” Surveillance as a Management Strategy for Retained Third Molars: Is It Desirable?”  The author opens by describing in the third paragraph that the treatment of symptomatic disease-free wisdom teeth can be challenging. The author states in the third paragraph “Absent good evidence, management decisions should incorporate the clinician’s experience and expertise, and after a careful, balanced review of the risks and benefits of both treatment options, weigh heavily the patient’s wishes and desires regarding extraction versus retention. The opinions in this chapter reflect the author’s personal decision-making process based on a careful literature review and clinical experience/expertise.” The author opens by describing his clinical classification of wisdom teeth rationale. He states that … Read more