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Could sedation dentistry be more dangerous than we’ve been told?

By Dansker & Aspromonte

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For New Yorkers who dread going to the dentist, there has been a solution out there for several years: sedation dentistry. Essentially, rather than having to lie back in discomfort for a long period of time, patients go under heavy sedation instead. This can be a big relief for people whose anxiety might make them avoid going to a dentist altogether. But is the practice as safe as we’ve been led to believe? Call our dental malpractice lawyers NYC to know.

Two deaths as a result of dental malpractice might make some question the necessity of sedation dentistry. The deaths, both of which took place this year in North Carolina, have led one dentist to lose her license and another to have his case pending before a state dental board. The suspended dentist elected to retire and sold her practice.

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Experts say that dentists may not always be equipped to deal with a medical emergency should a patient respond unfavorably to being sedated. In the case of the dentist who ended up retiring, reports say that she ignored the medical history of the patient who died. She also reportedly didn’t tend to the patient when an assistant told her that he had turned blue.

There is not much in the way of national statistics on the safety of sedation dentistry. Further complicating matters, every state has its own standards. New Yorkers who think they have been the victims of medical errors, either via sedation dentistry or otherwise, can consult with experienced dental medical malpractice lawyers for advice and assistance.

Source:  Raleigh News & Observer, “Second suspected sedative death a ‘huge concern’ for NC dental board,” Andrew Kenney, Dec. 12, 2013

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