There are many ways I can deliver anesthesia to patients. Each has its advantages. In a dental office, comfort, safety, and convenience are the key.
For the patient, going to sleep comfortably is the first priority. A preoperative sedative
can make this pleasant and unmemorable.
During the procedure, protecting a sleeping patient is my singular responsibility. With body padding, eye protection, watchful observation, and a full range of high tech monitors, comfort and safety is preserved. In addition, if antibiotics are required to protect against infection, they are provided through the IV.
Toward the end of the procedure drugs for post operative comfort can be given. Prevention of pain, nausea, and inflammation are very important.
Patients almost always wake up quickly. I expect people to feel a little tired but otherwise fine. Since the dental work has been completed, as though by magic, that is even better.
Anesthesiologists must develop a thorough history for every patient that is to have anesthesia. I do one for each patient I see. I talk to patients and listen. I hear about fears, surgeries, allergies, medications, diagnoses, treatments, and symptoms. They usually have had appropriate treatment. Sometimes patients have conditions that are treatable but have not been treated. Sometimes they are treated too much or in conflicting ways. Sometimes there is a lack of coordination between healthcare providers. Sometimes the patient has a condition and they choose not to treat. If it does not interfere with treatment that I provide, it isn’t relevant. It does make me curious. Why did they make that choice? They may have made a well reasoned decision. Could it be fear, poor communication, or a misunderstanding? Perhaps.
Listen Carefully and Be Curious
Almost exactly a year ago, a friend died due to lack of communication between his doctors over a period of years. Reviewing all the medical records, I can understand what happened. It seemed that his complaints were not taken seriously. They didn’t make the diagnosis in spite of symptoms. He, unfortunately, was not given a choice.
I would recommend to anyone, if your medical problems are not resolving as expected, be proactive.
If you are unhappy with your treatment, do something about it.
I would recommend to any healthcare provider to be curious, ask questions, and listen carefully.