Wisconsin | FAQs

How safe is sedation dentistry? What steps should I take to minimize sedation dentistry risks?


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Are you or your child terrified of going to the dentist? Do you have a bad gag reflex? Do you need a lot of dental work? Do you have a low pain threshold? Are you a parent of a special needs child?

These are all good reasons for choosing sedation dentistry. However, sedation dentistry is only as safe as the dentist performing the sedation.

In Wisconsin, dentists must hold permits in order to perform any type of sedation. Most dentists are able to administer minimal sedation using nitrous oxide or laughing gas. An increasing number of dentists are able to perform conscious sedation. This is a state of medically induced relaxation. The patient is in a dreamlike state, but able to respond to commands. Very few dentists are able to use general anesthesia or deep sedation.

There are risks associated with any type of anesthesia. However, sedation dentistry is usually safe when performed by an experienced dentist. Check your dentist’s qualifications before undergoing sedation dentistry. Ask your dentist about his training, his experience, and the number of procedures that he has performed. Ask if he has dealt with emergencies or bad reactions. Check the dentist’s credentials with the Wisconsin Dental Association.

Our Milwaukee dental malpractice attorneys suggest doing the following before the procedure:

  • Consult your own regular doctor, especially if you are taking any medications. Ask if you have any health issues that the dentist should take into account.
  • Discuss your health history with your dentist. The dentist should ask about existing health problems and any medications you're currently taking.
  • Find out the name of the sedative that will be used and the dosage you will be given.
  • Make sure you are given a form detailing the risks of the procedure. Go over the form with the dentist. Ask questions if you don’t understand.
  • Check that the dentist will be monitoring your vital signs during the procedure and that he has emergency equipment on hand.

A good doctor will not be offended by your questions.

The Milwaukee medical malpractice attorneys at Hupy and Abraham help victims of medical malpractice get justice, accountability, and compensation. Please call us at 800-800-5678 to discuss your Wisconsin dental malpractice case.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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