Anxiety and pain control has been an integral part of the practice of dentistry for over 150 years. In fact, dentist William T. G. Morton was the first to use ether anesthesia for oral surgery in 1845. He is considered the father of anesthesiology in the fields of medicine and dentistry.
All dentists are trained in the use of local anesthesia and conscious sedation using nitrous oxide during dental school. Additional training is necessary to provide more profound anesthesia in the dental office. The specialty of oral & maxillofacial surgery (OMS) has the longest tradition of using advanced IV deep sedation and general anesthesia care in the office.
No other medical or dental specialty outside of anesthesiology has the same level of training and experience in the management of patients with IV sedation as OMS. The anesthesia training of OMS residents requires a minimum of 5 months of full-time hospital operating room experience including on-call coverage. OMS residents function as medical anesthesiology residents during this training period. They provide anesthesia care for patients undergoing major procedures including general, orthopedic, neurologic, plastic and gynecological surgery.
In addition to the minimum required medical anesthesia training period, OMS residents also perform hundreds of IV sedations in the OMS outpatient clinics. All residents as well as established practicing OMS’s must also be certified in CPR, Advance Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
In the State of Michigan, all licensed oral & maxillofacial surgeons who are members or fellows of the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons(AAOMS) are also required to undergo an Office Anesthesia Evaluation (OAE). This is a site visit and peer evaluation carried out by oral & maxillofacial surgeons who are members of the Michigan Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (MSOMS).
The OAE assures the oral surgery office is equipped with the equipment and back up systems to safely provide IV sedation and anesthesia services. It also confirms that the surgeon and their team undergo recurrent training in anesthesia emergency management. No other dental specialty or general dentistry group has a similar program that assures quality anesthesia care.