Unlike what some people think, sedation dentistry cannot be performed by regular dentists. A dental professional should have completed the necessary education and training, and subsequently obtained a license or permit in their area of operation to be able to sedate patients undergoing a dental procedure. All of these are necessary because a sedation dentist has many additional duties and responsibilities in comparison with a general dentist. Some of these duties and responsibilities are listed below.
1. Not all dental patients necessarily need to be sedated during a procedure. In relation to this, it is the duty of a sedation dentist to evaluate if a patient really requires sedation.
2. Some patients, even though they require sedation during a procedure, are not qualified to be sedated. It is the job of a sedation dentist to check the medical history of a patient, current drug usage, and overall health status to know if the patient would be able to handle being sedated safely and effectively.
3. Depending on the situation or the patient involved, a sedation dentist should be able to give options and assess as to what the best type of dental sedation should be used.
4. There are many types and techniques on how to sedate a patient during dental procedures. Such examples include gas sedation, intravenous, or oral. It is the responsibility of a sedation dentist to only perform the type of sedative administration he is licensed to do.
5. Before administering a sedative, a sedation dentist should be able to make a patient fully understand the advantages, disadvantages, and possible complications of aprocedure.
6. Baseline vital signs are obtained prior to dental sedation to ensure that the patient is in a good state before, during, and after the dental procedure.
7. It is also the duty of a sedation dentist to arrange for additional qualified personnel for procedure assistance and patient monitoring.
8. Upon administration of the sedative, a sedation dentist should check if the patient has attained the required level of sedation, and if the patient is showing normal vital signs. A sedation dentist must also make sure that the patient does not go into a deeper sedated state than the procedure and the health of the patient require.
9. As complications may occur anytime during a dental procedure, a sedation dentist should keep monitoring the vital signs of the patient, and be mindful of changes or fluctuations therein.
10. The job of a sedation dentist does not end after the dental procedure itself. Before allowing a patient to leave the clinic, a sedation dentist must monitor the patient until they recover fully, and are able to go home safely.
11. Finally, a sedation dentist should give postoperative instructions to a patient to allow rapid recovery.
The duties and responsibilities listed above are important and therefore should be followed. If not, potentially harmful incidents, to the patient as well as the dentist, may happen.