How to sedate? That is the question!

March 12, 2004

Honolulu, Hawaii...Dentistry has contributed to the discovery of general anesthesia, the widespread use of local anesthesia, and the development of outpatient anesthesia and sedation through the clinical observations of astute clinicians, clinical expertise of dentists trained in anesthesia, and clinical studies of the efficacy and safety of drugs and combinations.

However, the past two decades have seen a dramatic erosion in this heritage, due to dwindling training programs for dental anesthesiologists, a failure to develop an evidentiary basis for the safety of outpatient anesthesia procedures by dentists, and professional rivalries over who can best provide these services. Yet the demand for outpatient anesthesia and sedation services for highly anxious and phobic patients has not decreased, training requirements have increased, and regulatory requirements limit therapeutic options for most dentists to use oral sedative drugs.

In a Keynote Address during the 82nd General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, Dr. Raymond Dionne (National Institute of Dental Research, NIH, Bethesda, MD) will review the basis for this dilemma, with recommendations for a scientific agenda to develop an evidence-based foundation for the continued use of anesthesia and sedation for dental outpatients.
This is a summary of a Keynote Address entitled "Current Topics in Anesthesiology Research", to be presented by R. Dionne (NIDCR/NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA) at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 12, in Room 305-B of the Hawaii Convention Center, during the 82nd General Session of the International Association for Dental Research.

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