August 17, 2019

Is Sedation Dentistry Risky?

Any medical procedure involves some inherent risks. Some risks concern the individual’s reactions to specific medications, and other risks are due to the procedure and the doctor’s or the nurses’ handling of medicines and operations.

Remember, malpractice lawyers can help you sort through any questions you may have. Contact a top medical malpractice attorney today at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. to understand your rights and protect yourself and your loved ones.

In the meantime, it never hurts to understand your rights, the risks, or the possible legal ramifications of operations gone wrong. Sedation dentistry comes with its own risks, some of which will be discussed below. Let’s walk through what sedation dentistry is, the history of the risks, types of sedatives, and potential side effects.

1. What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a term that refers to dental work with any level of sedation. Let’s break these two categories—dentistry and sedation—down individually.

Dentistry can refer to anything in the dental world. A dental operation that involves sedation could be anything from teeth cleaning to facial reconstruction. It all depends on the specific dentist, patient, and operation.

2. Levels of sedation

Conversely, there are varying levels of sedation.

In minimal sedation, patients are typically awake but relaxed. Patients might ingest a pill to temporarily relax them.

In moderate or conscious sedation, memory, speech, and movement are impaired, but patients are conscious. In this example, patients might also take a sedative pill or receive moderate IV sedatives.

In deep sedation, patients float between consciousness and unconsciousness. They might be able to respond during the procedure, but they might also not remember much of it. Patients might breathe nitrous oxide through a mask, receive IV sedatives, or both.

General anesthesia, in turn, refers to sedation, which renders the patient completely unconscious. To receive general anesthesia, patients might again breathe nitrous oxide through a mask, receive IV sedatives, or a combination of methods.

3. Sedation and its risks

General anesthesia and deep sedation are, in general, regarded as the riskier forms of sedation in general and sedation dentistry in particular.

These stronger and thus inherently riskier sedatives render the patient deeply asleep and are usually administered through an IV or inhaled. Patients cannot be awakened easily, and it takes some time until the anesthesia wears off or another medication is used to reverse the anesthetic’s effects.

Some side effects are to be expected. Patients may experience nausea or vomiting after surgery, amongst other relatively minor and short-lived effects. Overall, general anesthesia is safe when administered correctly. However, medical malpractice does happen, and if you or your loved one might have been affected by malpractice, seek out legal help now and get the answers you deserve.

Death does occasionally result from general anesthetic. It’s rare, but it happens roughly in every one in 100,000 to 200,000 cases. Again, it’s very important to be able to trust your doctor and to know that you or your loved ones are in good hands.

4. Protect yourself and your loved ones against the risks

Ask your dentist to check your medical history. You might have a childhood anesthetic or medical allergy on the record you may not be aware of.

Next, be informed about the side effects. Some dentists might not be aware of every side effect of every medication they prescribe, and thus might not be aware of every possible warning sign. Always ask for the warning signs you should watch out for after surgery—your doctor should be able to tell you what might be the red flag of an adverse reaction and what is to be expected.

Lastly, never be afraid to reach out for legal help if you feel confused. Many people have experienced dental medical malpractice before, and many have turned to malpractice lawyers at our law firm for help.

A top medical malpractice attorney like Eileen Kroll who is a trial lawyer and a registered nurse can help you figure out the truth of a frightening medical incident and help you and your family seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. today on their 24-hour, toll-free line at 1-866-642-4529.

Emilia Garver has a background in Criminal Anthropology and Sociology. She specializes in persuasive writing and journalism. She strives to promote justice though journalism and to make complex legal topics readily accessible.

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