The theme of the 11th Annual Sedation Safety Week, which runs March 18th through 22nd, is “Looking Back and Forging Ahead.”
The annual awareness campaign is designed to remind oral health professionals and members of the public that “Priority #1” for all dentists must be the safety of each and every one of their patients.
Sedation Safety Week (SSW) programs and activities are free and open to all oral health professionals. Daily updates will be posted at sedationdentistrysafetyweek.org beginning Monday, March 18th.
To coincide with the 20th Anniversary of the founding of DOCS Education, the world’s leading educator of sedation dentists and the host of the annual safety campaign, this year’s SSW will review the enormous progress that has been made over the past two decades when it comes to patient comfort and safety.
However, it will also look at some tasks as yet incomplete, including the proper training of dentists to prevent opioid abuse, and the protection of patients from unqualified and fraudulent oral health professionals.
Millions of once-fearful and anxious patients who avoided seeing a dentist now get regular checkups and treatment thanks to safe and effective oral sedation.
Nonetheless, according to Dr. Michael D. Silverman, founder and national chairperson of SSW, some self-interested dental specialists continue to put pressure on state dental boards to tighten the regulations governing general dentists, and effectively, restrict the public’s access to care.
“For all the advances we’ve made in safely providing care to fearful patients, we must remain ever alert to those who would prefer we return to the dark ages of limiting access to sedation dentistry,” Dr. Silverman says. The protocols taught by DOCS Education and practiced by tens of thousands of dedicated dentists, rely strictly on credible science and evidence-based research, he notes.
“Each year we present Sedation Safety Week to reinforce our profession's commitment to the safety and well-being of our patients,” Dr. Silverman explains.