January 23, 2019
I discovered sedation dentistry quite by accident. In 1998, I was attending a practice management course to gain more business knowledge to help my practice succeed. At the very end of the lecture, the speaker mentioned in a very matter-of-fact way that he was familiar with a sedation technique that uses oral medication to sedate fearful patients in the office.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! Could this be the answer to help so many of my deserving patients? It sounded too good to be true! Fortunately, the speaker referenced the doctor considered the authority on the subject and gave contact information. In 1998 the internet wasn’t what it is today, so I had to do a few old fashioned phone calls to find him . I learned that the “sedation doctor” gave one day introductory courses so dentists could familiarize themselves with the technique. I signed up immediately.
The course was very interesting and I realized that what I thought was too good to be true actually was! I knew I wanted to provide sedation dentistry but wanted more hands-on training. For this training the speaker directed us to a 1 week program at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, NY where we could sedate and treat patients and receive intense training. A few months later I was there.
The Hospital training was 6 days long. It is what’s called “immersion” learning and as the name implies it’s like jumping in the pool head first to learn how to swim. There were long 12 hour days of lectures and actual patient treatment. When I left on the last day, I was ready to begin.
Within a few weeks after returning, I had ordered all needed equipment and was ready for our first patient.
Next month I’ll discuss the numerous patients that we were able to help who had no answers to their dental problems before sedation dentistry.f
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