Could your child be put at risk by unnecessary dental procedures and the use of anesthesia in the hands of someone who is more interested in profits than patient care? This is what you should know in order to protect your child.
What is causing alarm among pediatric dentists and parents alike?
Do you feel safe entrusting your child's safety and very life to someone whose only experience with oral sedatives and dental sedation is a weekend course? Unfortunately, that may be the only required training in your state that your child's dentist has to have before being allowed to use sedation dentistry on children.
Sedation dentistry is becoming increasingly popular because it ends anxiety over sometimes painful dental visits -- and it also increases the bottom dollar for many dentists looking to bump up the bill to the insurance company. Companies that run the weekend seminars in ballrooms across the company proudly advertise the fact that sedation means "tens of thousands of dollars of extra income in your pocket annually," but this sort of slap-dash training isn't considered remotely adequate by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
As a result of the trend, children -- including infants -- are being sedated for simple teeth cleanings and fillings. Some of them are dying as a result of over-sedation, but nobody knows exactly how many because there's no national system of reporting -- and experts say that many of the deaths are never officially tied to the anesthesia.
What signs should alert parents to be wary of their dentist's motives?
Certainly, not every dentist that wants to use anesthesia on a child is doing so out of sheer greed. However, there are several things that should give a parent pause before agreeing to any procedures:
- The dentist doesn't discuss options for general anesthesia, including local anesthesia -- which just numbs the area around the tooth.
- There seems to be an extraordinary amount of work to be done on a very young child. If your dentist is advocating multiple root canals and other work all at once, and you had no reason to suspect your child's mouth might be that damaged, seek a second opinion.
- The dentist doesn't show you where the damage is on x-rays or seems reluctant to let you see them.
- You don't get a clear answer when you ask what emergency procedure plan is in place if your child should react badly to the anesthesia.
- Medicaid is your primary dental insurer. Some people believe that families on Medicaid are targeted for unnecessary procedures and unnecessary sedation because the government-funded healthcare plan will cover the costs, while those who have to pay out of pocket simply can't afford it.
If you believe that your child was killed as the result of an unnecessary dental sedation or subjected to invasive dental procedures like root canals and caps that were not needed, consult an attorney like Law Offices Of Sara J Frankel Pc to discuss filing a lawsuit as soon as possible.