Current Sedation and Anesthesia Practices among Dentists: A Statewide Survey
Introduction: The purpose of this survey was to describe the current sedation training and practices among dentists in the state of Virginia, and to determine what areas of sedation training may need to be improved or maintained. Methods: A survey was developed by two faculty members at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and School of Dentistry, focused on sedation practices of dentists within the state of Virginia. The survey contained several key domains: background, education and training, implementation in practice, and continuing education. The survey consisted of thirty questions. Results: Four hundred and thirty nine dentists responded of the 1,982 (22% response rate) surveys were completed and used in analysis. Almost half of the dentists that responded use oral medication to administer sedation within their office and of those 67% re-dose the oral sedative medication to the patient. Over 75% of dentists indicated that they have had some type of sedation related emergency in their office; despite this number, 11% reported that they do not practice for sedation emergency scenarios. Over 70% of dentists reported that they solely monitor their patient during simultaneous sedation and dental treatment, while others reported having a dental assistant (20%) or other medical provider (10%) assisting with monitoring while they are providing dental care. Conclusion: With 75% of dentists that responded to the survey practicing sedation, experiencing some type of medical emergency related to sedations, and 4% of these not using any type of patient monitoring system, all providers offering sedation should follow the monitoring guidelines set forth by the ADA and/or AAPD. With an increase in demand from patients for sedation services during dental procedures, additional training should be recommended to dentists to assure that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to rescue a patient should a medical emergency arise.