I’m scheduled to have my wisdom teeth removed. However, I just learned that the laws for dental sedation are changed, but won’t take effect until 2019. Is it in my best interest to wait for the new laws before having my procedure? My wisdom teeth aren’t bothering me. We’re just removing them because they’re coming in “impacted” and we’re being proactive. I want to do the safest thing.
I think you must live in California. That’s the only state I’m aware of with changes in sedation laws coming up. If I’m wrong, let me know (along with what state you actually live in) and I’ll do some more research.
The changes they’ve proposed have little impact on you. Because they wrote it in legal and clinical speak it’s sometimes hard to follow so I wouldn’t be surprised if it confused you. The majority of the changes affect the use of anesthesia for children. Here are a couple of examples:
- Children under age seven: A sedation dentist will have to have three professionals present with children this age. One of whom will monitor the child’s vitals throughout the procedure.
- Children ages 7 to 11: At these ages, only two people need be present.
There is, of course, legislation regarding required training for the dentists.
Here’s the thing. This legislation doesn’t make sedation any safer than it currently is. The only thing I can speculate that it will do is raise the cost burden to dentists, which will likely be passed along to parents. That will just make it harder for low-income parents to provide the best care for their children.
Why do I say it won’t help? Because dentists already have training and someone there to help monitor, just not the number of people the law’s requiring.
Ideally, you’ll want to talk to your dentist about your concerns. He can explain to you about his or her sedation training and what type of precautions they take and how they monitor your vital signs.
It’s not going to affect your procedure at all so you’re fine to move forward with your wisdom tooth extraction. In fact, it’s better that you do. The older you are when you have them removed, the greater chance for complications.
The last thing you want to do is wait and have your wisdom teeth removed only to have them blow up into a dental emergency.
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