Most children tolerate restorative dental care with either local anesthesia, or a combination of Nitrous Oxide inhalation sedation and a local anesthetic. Every dentist is trained in these two arenas. However, there are children whose behavior is combative, their ability to comprehend limited, the treatment plan is very extensive, or they have a medical condition that complicates their dental treatment where additional efforts are required. All pediactric dentists have a choice of physical restraint with a papoose board, conscious sedation, or general anesthesia. Dr. Healey does not practice intimidation nor does he use a papoose board for retraint.
The dental specialties that are formally trained in physical medicine and anesthesia are oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Pediatric Dentistry. Oral Surgery is a procedure specific specialty that limits treatment to extraction of teeth, treatment of facial infection, bony fractures secondary to facial trauma, and orthognathic surgery. Pediatric dentistry is an age specific specialty that includes restoration of the teeth, facial trauma, orthodontic care, and uncomplicated extractions.
Both specialties have in their training programs the mandate to perform a physical assessment and medical history prior to anesthesia, and are hospital trained in both IV sedation and general anesthesia. The Georgia Board of Dentistry has a licensing program in both general anesthesia and conscious sedation for every dentist who plans to deeply sedate patients in their office. This includes an oral examination of the doctor’s knowledge and a facility examination during a sedative procedure.