Sedation Safety Week. Admittedly, it probably doesn’t sound that exciting. After all, it’s a week about being sedated. Theoretically, it probably shouldn’t be exciting – but it should be informative, and that’s exactly what the 10th annual Sedation Safety Week was.
Sponsored by DOCS Education, the leading provider of safe sedation education for dentists in America, Sedation Safety Week highlighted five important topics about providing patients with safe sedation options when they visit the dentist. Day one’s topic, “Sedation Safety: Where We’ve Been and Where We Still Must Go,” highlighted the need to raise awareness of dental sedation and to promote its many benefits among patients.
“Many patients don’t even realize that sedation is an option for routine dental care,” says Dr. Alexandra George, a dentist from Wexford, Pennsylvania. “They think it’s only for surgical procedures or fillings, and they don’t know they can be sedated even during routine cleanings.”
Unfortunately, that important distinction may actually be harming patients’ oral health.
“If a patient has dental phobia and refuses to see the dentist until they are in absolute agony with an infection or bad cavity, that’s obviously a very bad thing,” George says. “We want patients to know that it’s normal to have anxiety about even routine cleanings, and that there are sedation options that can help get you through your cleaning so you’re not missing potential problems with your oral health.”
The awareness week also covered important topics like how to offer sedation to a greater number of patients, and how to deal with sedation regulations in the dental field.
“As doctors, we want to make our patients comfortable and as safe as possible,” George says. “Having an organization like DOCS Education help bring the issues we face to light is extremely beneficial to everyone – from the dentist to ultimately the patient.”