What to ask before sedation
When administered and monitored by an anesthesia team led by a well-trained and highly skilled surgeon, all levels of sedation, up to and including general anesthesia, may be safely, comfortably and predictably provided to patients undergoing an office-based dental surgical procedure.
As with any surgery, however, it is essential that patients, as key members of their healthcare team, take an active role in their treatment choices and ask the following questions before selecting a dental specialist and office for their procedure.
1. What are the surgeon’s qualifications?
Any surgical procedure that requires general anesthesia is surgery and should be performed by a surgeon trained explicitly in its administration and use. Dr. Shirley completed a 6-year, hospital-based residency following dental school, during which time he trained alongside anesthesiology residents on the anesthesia service. Throughout residency, he honed his anesthesia skills in both hospital and outpatient surgical settings.
2. Who will watch me while I am under anesthesia?
The Piney Woods Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery anesthesia team is comprised of the surgeon and two well-trained anesthesia assistants who routinely work and train together to continuously monitor the patient’s vital signs during and after surgery.
3. Is the staff trained to respond to an anesthesia emergency?
While anesthesia emergencies are rare, you can feel safe that the Piney Woods Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery anesthesia team work together and train as a unit to respond and treat emergencies quickly and appropriately. Many of our assistants have completed the rigorous Dental Anesthesia Assistant National Certification Examination and have Basic Life Support certification. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons maintain current Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support certifications.
4. Is the dental office equipped to handle an anesthesia emergency?
Should an anesthesia emergency occur, it is vital that the dental office has the necessary equipment and drugs immediately available for the surgeon’s use. Unlike dental offices that do not perform surgery regularly, oral and maxillofacial surgery offices are well provisioned to meet any unexpected situation. All oral and maxillofacial surgery offices undergo a regular Office Anesthesia Evaluation to ensure the staff is trained to respond to emergency situations, the equipment is in excellent working condition, and that rescue drugs are current.
For your safety, patients should always tell their surgeon about:
Healthcare concerns on the day of surgery, including flu-like symptoms, dizziness, etc.
Chronic medical conditions, including diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and heart conditions
All the medications you take, including nonprescription drugs, nutritional supplements, and recreational drugs and their dosages
Whether they have had any food or water before surgery.
The complex structures of your jaw area can be difficult to decipher on an x-ray. But advanced 3D imaging brings the unprecedented ability to see your mouth and jaw with as much detail as a CT scan, but right in our office.