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Dental Anesthesia

The American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists (ASDA) comprises a group of dentists who have completed a minimum of two years of full-time postdoctoral training in anesthesiology. Our clinical training includes a significant portion devoted to hospital operating room anesthesiology rotations as well as ambulatory anesthesia for medical and dental patients. These and other clinical experiences, such as emergency medicine, cardiology, and acute and chronic pain management, are complemented by didactic lectures and seminars to develop highly competent practitioners who can carefully evaluate a dental patient, devise and conduct an appropriate anesthetic plan, and safely manage complications that may arise.

Some dentist anesthesiologists currently direct a pain and anxiety control team and perform the dental procedure while team members monitor the patient. Other dentist anesthesiologists limit their practice to providing anesthesia services for other dentists who perform the necessary dental care. The dentist anesthesiologist who works in a single office or in the offices of other dentists provides all the necessary equipment, medications, and sophisticated monitors to ensure an unsurpassed margin of safety in the care of the ambulatory dental patient.

The dentist anesthesiologist may provide only monitoring (e.g., continual blood pressure readings and continuous pretracheal auscultation, pulse oximetry, and electrocardiography) for medically compromised dental patients, such as those with hypertension, angina pectoris, multiple allergies, and other conditions that confront the operating dentist on a routine basis. Nervous or uncooperative patients may benefit from intravenous conscious sedation, or may require deep sedation or general anesthesia in order for the dentist to complete the necessary dental care. The dentist anesthesiologist provides a safe, relaxed atmosphere for the patient and the operating dentist and decreases the likelihood that the dentist will have to tell the patient (or parent), “I’m sorry, but we are just not equipped to handle a patient with your (child’s) special needs.” 

Dentist anesthesiologists are also involved in: (1) teaching pain and anxiety control in dental schools to dental students and residents in various specialty programs; (2) providing continuing education courses in conscious sedation, pharmacology, and medical emergencies; and (3) conducting research related to anesthesiology in dentistry.  Finally, in selected dental schools, hospitals, and other health care facilities, dentist anesthesiologists serve as members of the pain management service, lending their expertise in regional nerve blockade and pharmacological pain and anxiety control to the diagnosis and treatment of orofacial pain.

American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists  •   Texas Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists