Man considering the safety aspects of oral surgeryWhether you’re visiting an oral surgeon to have an impacted wisdom tooth removed or a periodontist to have a dental implant placed, you want to feel confident that you’re in good hands. Although statistically low, complications can occur during any type of dental procedure. Minimizing the risk of complications depends on the knowledge and skill of your dental healthcare provider, his staff, and his observance of national and state health and safety protocols. Today, we’re discussing these two common concerns about the safety of oral surgery.

Cleanliness of the Office, Equipment, and Materials

Standards for cleanliness and safety in a dental practice are determined on a national level by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and on a state level by various entities, like the state health and safety body and state dental boards. Protocols are in place for just about every aspect of your oral surgery, from how the dentist and his staff wash their hands to how the surgical instruments were cleaned and sterilized. Most dentists take pride in their adherence to safety and health protocols; after all, they’re protecting themselves, their staff, and their patients. However, you should always feel free to talk to your dentist if you have outstanding concerns regarding health, cleanliness, and safety in the office.

Safety of Dental Sedation

One of the primary risks associated with any type of surgery involves brain damage or death resulting from sustained low blood oxygen caused by anesthesia. A few high profile cases over the past two years, in which apparently healthy individuals passed away during a routine oral surgery, have brought the safety of sedation dentistry into question. However, cases of a critical problem occurring while a patient is under sedation are extremely rare (only one in 365,534 according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons). To ensure patient safety during a procedure, the dentist and his assisting staff monitor pulse, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels. Part of maintaining their license to practice dental medicine includes performing regular safety checks that could include making sure all medications are in date, oxygen tanks are at optimal pressure, and the assisting staff has current CPR training.

About Dr. Marco Cueva

Marco Cueva, DDS, MS is a board-certified periodontist with extensive training and experience performing oral surgery to treat gum disease and place dental implants. New patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation with Periodontic Excellence by calling 972-390-9944.