“There are no safe sedatives, only safe ways of administering them.”
Last month there was some breaking news about a case where a child went in to have a routine filling done with sedation, and the results were unfortunate. Sedation itself is very safe when all precautions are taken, and this incident is a cautionary tale of what can happen when those very measures are not taken.
Below is the video from ABC Nightline:
At least some of this type of issue can be attributed to the requirements for practicing sedation dentistry. The hours of study to receive certification can be completed in a weekend, and training for emergency scenarios (like what happened in the video) is not a focus.
A commitment to going above and beyond in the name of safety is paramount. Dr. Bonnick was a resident at the Long Island Hospital for Anesthesia, a credential not normally required to practice sedation dentistry. While the state requires 15 hours of continuing education per year in this field of dentistry, Dr. Bonnick often takes as much as 100 hours to ensure an optimal level of preparedness and mastery for each patient he sees.