Q & A with Dr. Michael Badger - practicing dentist at Dellagio Dentist in Orlanda, Florida, and HDC Clinical Director
Dental fear has become a common theme in our society and culture; just thinking of the sights and sounds of drilling is enough to stir up apprehension in many. In fact, 15 percent of Americans, roughly 40 million people, experience some form of dental anxiety. But fear of the dentist is no laughing matter. For some, terrible childhood experiences have left a lasting impression on their dental visits. Others have avoided dental work for years because they are embarrassed of their teeth or their dental phobia.
However, with sedation dentistry, patients no longer have to worry about their dental appointments. Whether for a single filling, a root canal or a complete smile makeover, sedation dentistry helps people achieve ideal dental health more comfortably and helps dentists provide the best service possible.
To provide more information on sedation dentistry, we’ve interviewed HDC Clinical Director and practicing dentist Dr. Michael Badger of DellagioDentist.com in Orlando, Florida.
Q: How do patients benefit from having access to sedation dentistry?
A: Sedation dentistry access can be beneficial for almost any patient, but especially those who suffer from dental phobia, and in many instances, may require extensive repair. Often for these patients, sedation gives them the feeling that their dental procedure lasted only a few minutes, when in fact it might have taken hours to perform. Therefore, complex dental procedures such as smile makeovers or extensive rebuilding procedures that normally require multiple visits can often be performed in fewer appointments.
Q: How does implementing sedation dentistry help dentists and their teams enhance their level of care?
A: With a relaxed patient, the dentist and his team can concentrate on performing the dental procedure with more accuracy, without having to worry about patient movements or gagging, speeding up because the patient has become tired or slowing down because they feel discomfort. It can also help to reduce the post-operative discomfort and healing time for patients.
Q: How do dentists become certified in sedation and how long does it take?
A: Completion of a mini-residency is necessary. Conscious sedation permit requirements vary slightly from state to state, but typically a mini-residency with a minimum of 60 hours of didactic/classroom education and direct participation in administering IV sedation to 20 to 30 clinical dental cases will cover most state requirements. For HDC-affiliated dentists, total continuing education credits will be approximately 100 hours, with either continuous seven-day training programs or several three-day sessions over a couple of months.
Q: What different types of sedation can dentists become certified in?
A: With some slight differences depending on the individual state, permits are granted largely for oral conscious sedation, parental/IV conscious sedation and deep sedation. Deep sedation permits require an oral surgery residency or a more extensive program, typically lasting one year.
Q: How much does it typically cost a dentist to become sedation certified?
A: Sedation training tuition typically ranges from $8,000 to $20,000.
Q: What specific types of patients benefit the most from using sedation?
A: A wide variety of patients benefit from sedation, including patients with strong gag reflexes, extremely anxious patients, patients with major dental neglect, patients who are having their wisdom teeth removed or other dental surgery and those dealing with restless leg syndrome or other neurological issues.
Q: Some experts have raised concerns with the safety of sedation dentistry, is there any validity to these concerns?
A: With proper training and protocols, sedation dentistry is well documented to be both a safe and highly effective method for delivering excellent care.