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

Familarize Yourself with the ADA’s Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct

The American Dental Association also know as the ADA, in 2012, update their Principle of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct document. It is available over at http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/About%20the%20ADA/Files/code_of_ethics_2012.ashx. As many Americans make trips to the dentist, it is useful to familiarize yourself with the ADA’s document to better determine if your dentist is being ethical and serving your needs well. If you don’t feel this is the case you have options to report your dentist and of course you can find a new dentist. Additional comments on the ethics and professional conduct of the ADA and it’s members is over at http://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/principles-of-ethics-code-of-professional-conduct. It states “The dental profession holds a special position of trust within society. As a consequence, society affords the profession certain privileges that are not available to members of the public-at-large. In return, the profession makes a commitment … Read more

Elsevier to Bring New Dental and Oral Surgery Journal Offerings

Recently, it has come to my attention that Elsevier will be bringing some new journal offerings to the dental community. The first offering is with the open access Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Cases journal. The website for the journal is over at http://www.oralandmaxillofacialsurgerycases.com/. There is a $500 fee to publish an article in the journal. The site states “Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Cases is a surgical journal dedicated to publishing case reports and case series only which must be original, educational, rare conditions or findings, or clinically interesting to an international audience of surgeons and clinicians. Case series can be prospective or retrospective and examine the outcomes of management or mechanisms in more than one patient. Case reports may include new or modified methodology and treatment, uncommon findings, and mechanisms. All case reports and case series will be peer reviewed for acceptance … Read more

Is Creative Diagnosis on the Rise in Dentistry?

A very interesting MyView column by the American Dental Association (ADA) is titled “Creative Diagnosis” by Jeffrey Camm, D.M.D. located over at http://www.ada.org/9151.aspx and published October 21, 2013. In the column the author touches on an issue he faces as a dentist where he has patients who have seen other dentists who were likely unethical in their treatment (and treating when it is not warranted) – a term he calls creative diagnosis. Of course one can ask, what is the motivation for creative diagnosis and one would answer money and staying afloat. Essentially the author describes several cases he has dealt with at his practice: A 16 year old patient who graduates from his pediatric practice and sees a new dentist who then says she has 16 cavities. The patient and her mother of course are upset and he reviews … Read more