HOW SAFE IS OUTPATIENT SEDATION ADMINISTERED BY ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEONS?
The typical techniques used by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (OMFS’s) have evolved over my years in practice, but the overall safety has remained the same. It is very safe. (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 79: 990-999, 2021). Anesthesia administered by OMFS’s has one of the highest safety records in medicine. There is a very good reason for this. Not only are OMFS’s highly trained in anesthesia, but along with state and national standards and regulations, we are also self-regulated by our association who performs regular updates, continuing education, and in-office on-site evaluation. This is a good reason to have a surgeon who is board certified and a member of the AAOMS performing your oral surgery procedures. Remember, there are many “dental surgeons” out there performing the same procedures. Make sure your surgeon is properly credentialed.
Lastly, ask questions. Make sure your surgeon uses a “titrated dose technique.” Make sure they have proper resuscitation equipment with drugs for anesthesia emergencies. Ask if they are ACLS certified.
The truth is that any of us can have an anesthetic emergency at any time. The key is to be properly trained, equipped, and aware. Prevention is the key.
Richard M. Wagner DDS
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