How safe is deep sedation or anesthesia in dentistry?

An interesting article titled “How safe is deep sedation or general anesthesia while providing dental care?” appears in the Sept. 2015 issue of JADA (volume 146, issue 9, Pages 705–708) and written by Jeffrey D. Bennett and et al. The article discusses how deep sedation and general anesthesia are given daily in dental offices or practices and this is usually done by oral and maxillofacial surgeons and dentist anesthesiologists. Sedation and anesthesia is given to patients to be able to more easily perform procedures and keep the patient safe and comfortable. Unfortunately in rare cases problems can happen and hence the authors were interested in exploring this. The authors state “Using the available data and informational reports, the authors estimate that the incidence of death and brain injury associated with deep sedation or general anesthesia administered by all dentists most likely exceeds 1 … Read more

Should a Dentist Work While They are Sick?

An interesting article titled “Ethical concerns of working while ill,” appears in the Sept. 2015, issue of JADA (vol. 146, no. 9, pp. 711-712). The article talks about a dentist who over a period of a few days got progressively sicker. The article questions whether or not he should work or take time off until he gets over the illness. The article discusses a NSF International survey of workers that says 26% of all workers go into work when sick. The article says that 42% of Americans  work while sick. The article states that dentists have an obligation to do no harm to their patients. If they report to work while sick and are treating older patients who have increased risk of getting pulmonary illness this can be a problem. The article states that dentists also need to provide a certain … Read more

The Importance of Reputation Management for Dentists

The dental malpractice law field is alive with some companies encouraging patients to sue dentists. It is possible for dentists to have as many as three or more complaints lodged against them at a single time. This causes stress to dentists and dampens the quality of care provided for patients. Whilst we can’t, unfortunately, change the culture that allows this to occur dentists can take steps to try and manage their reputation and reduce the risk to have a suit. These techniques can be used to improve customer interactions and try to mitigate any negative feelings or resentments patients may feel . So how can dentists manage their reputation more effectively? Patient Interactions The most important place to start is with patient care. With often heinously busy schedules dentists can skip over some of the niceties of patient interactions. However, when it comes to the perception of … Read more

Preserving Research Funding in Dentistry

An interesting article titled “The vital role of research funding in preserving the oral health of the public and the dental profession,” appears as a guest editorial in the June 2015, issue of JADA and written by Maxine Feinber and et. al. The article discusses how it is critical that investments in dental, oral, and craniofacial research continue in the United States to help improve the nations oral health. The article states “…oral diseases persist on a scale that is poorly understood and wholly unacceptable… 3.9 billion people had oral conditions, with untreated dental caries in permanent teeth the most prevalent disease, affecting 35% of the world’s population….1 in 5 Americans is afflicted with dental caries…” The article says that around 4% of health care spending in the U.S. is for dental services. Even so we know little about oral disease and … Read more

Are Dentists Not Busy Enough?

An interesting article titled “Solving dentistry’s ‘busyness’ problem” appears in the August 2015 edition of JADA and written by Marko Vujicic. The author states that nationally (U.S.) around 1 in 3 dentists say they are not busy enough. This differs by state and whether or not the dentist accepts Medicaid. The author states that the number of working age adults who have seen a dentist within 12 months has been declining over the past 10 years. In addition, inflation adjusted dental spending has been flat for several years. So the demand for dentistry is declining. The author also states that the number of dentists has increased over the last 10 years. So decreasing demand and increasing supply creates a problem for dentistry. Even so the author feels that dentist utilization by seniors will increase over the coming years and dentist utilization … Read more