A dental anesthesiologist is a specialist who provides pain management for patients who are undergoing potentially traumatic oral surgeries. By administering both local and general sedatives and anesthesia, dental anesthesiologists keep patients relatively comfortable during what would otherwise be an unbearably painful ordeal, allowing oral surgeons to fix serious dental problems.
Education and Licensing Requirements for Dental Anesthesiologists
Dental anesthesiologists have to go through the same education requirements as a dentist, though with one additional step. Dental anesthesiologists in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia have to:
- Complete a bachelor's degree in college
- Take the Dental Acceptance Test (DAT) and get into a dental school
- Graduate from dental school with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree
- Pass national and Pennsylvania licensing exams
Dental anesthesiologists, however, also have to complete a residency program in anesthesiology. This program lasts two years and covers issues like:
- Surgical procedures
- Cardiovascular problems in anesthesiology
- Patient care
- IV sedation
The Practice of Dental Anesthesiology in Philadelphia
Most dental anesthesiologists work in private practice, contracting with local oral surgeons to provide the anesthesiology needs that the surgeon is not licensed to provide. That anesthesiology comes in two forms:
Local anesthesia is usually provided in the form of Novocain, which gets injected near the site of the oral surgery to numb the area. While the patient remains alert during the procedure, their ability to feel pain at the surgical site is drastically reduced.
General anesthesia leads to a drug-induced unconsciousness, during which the patient cannot feel pain, at all.
How Dental Anesthesiologist Can Commit Medical Malpractice
Dental anesthesiologists can commit medical malpractice by providing substandard levels of medical care. This can happen in a huge variety of ways, especially during general anesthesia. Providing too little anesthesia can end with the patient waking up in the middle of an incredibly painful oral procedure. Providing too much, though, can put the patient in such a deep state of unconsciousness that they do not wake up from it, or they have permanent side effects.
Some of the most common ways for dental anesthesiologists to commit malpractice, though, is by:
- Not taking the time to determine how much anesthesia to give a specific patient
- Ignoring signs of patient allergies and sensitivities that could produce a potential medical complication
- Improperly administering the anesthesia
- Not monitoring the vital signs of a patient while they are under the influence of the anesthesia
- Discharging the patient before their vital signs have returned to normal after the surgical procedure
Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian Serve Philadelphia
Dental anesthesiologists play a pivotal role in oral surgeries. However, if they make a mistake it can cause a serious setback for the patient and can even be fatal. When this happens, they should be held accountable for their actions or poor decisions, especially considering the fact that the patient could do little to nothing to protect themselves from getting hurt.
The medical malpractice lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian can help. Contact them online.