Kansas Dentists and Sedation Dentistry

There are a multitude of dental procedures that require patients to be sedated, whether it be full general anesthesia, or minimal sedation that leaves a patient in a “twilight” state.  Some patients may simply want to be sedated for simple fears that make it difficult for them to receive standard dental care.  Whatever the reason may be for sedation, it is important that dentists protect themselves when offering sedation services to patients.

Dentists can protect themselves by ensuring that their patients are good candidates for sedation prior to administering any sedative medication. However, not every patient should be sedated, due to the nature of their medical condition or other important factors.  Some patients may have underlying health problems that make sedation particularly dangerous, such as chronic high blood pressure, a history of heart attacks or strokes, or any other chronic and/or serious health condition.  If it turns out a patient cannot safely be sedated, then a dentist should inform the patient of this information and refuse to sedate that patient.

There have been situations across the United States where dentists have performed sedation dentistry without first ensuring the patients are healthy and stable enough to handle the sedative medications.  Many dental practices advertise that they offer “sedation dentistry,” and this catches the attention of many patients who have trouble sitting still or simply are afraid to receive certain dental care.  Such dental practices can be beneficial for many patients who qualify as good candidates, but there are many people who simply should not be subject to sedation if they are not healthy enough.

 What You Should Do to Avoid Disciplinary Action

If you offer sedation dentistry at your Kansas dental practice, you should make sure your current protocols protect both you and your patients from the potential hazards of sedation dentistry.  You should thoroughly evaluate every patient, and request a patient’s primary medical records (with the patient’s consent), to confirm whether or not there are any current health concerns that may pose a risk of harm to the patient if sedation is given.  Further, as a Kansas dentist offering sedation dentistry, you should require that your patients undergo general testing with another physician to ensure they are healthy enough to be sedated.

As long as you document your efforts to ensure your patients are healthy enough to receive sedative medications while undergoing dental procedures, you should be protected in the future if a patient claims he or she suffered harm as a result of undergoing sedation in your dental office.  By reviewing a patient’s medical records and ensuring the patient has undergone the requisite testing, you are being a responsible Kansas dentist and looking out for the health and well-being of your patients.  While problems with sedation dentistry are not prevalent, they do happen, and you should always be prepared in the event a patient becomes ill or alleges to suffer harm as a result of being sedated while at your dental office.

Contact the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you are a Kansas dentist and your license is at risk, it is essential that you consider speaking with a Kansas professional license defense attorney as soon as possible.  Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office defends her clients to the fullest extent possible, helping them keep their professional licenses.  With her prior experience as Assistant Attorney General of Kansas, Danielle Sanger knows what to expect from all Kansas professional licensing boards. Kansas Professional Liability Defense Attorney Danielle Sanger also has the skill and dedication necessary to provide the best representation possible when fighting the potential loss of your professional license.  To schedule your free consultation with Danielle Sanger, contact the Sanger Law Office by calling (785) 979-4353.