Children and Teens Will Be the Focus of This Year’s Sedation Safety Week

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The sixth annual Sedation Safety Week (SSW) presented by DOCS Education will begin this year on Monday, March 17th, with a special emphasis on caring safely and effectively for children and adolescents.

Sixth Annual Sedation Safety Week
'The need for all sedation dentists to update and review their education pertaining to safe and effective treatment of children has never been greater.' - Michael D. Silverman, DMD, DDOCS, DICOI

During SSW, which is held each spring, dentists and their team members throughout the country are encouraged to review every aspect of their sedation-related safety protocols.

That includes engaging in safety drills, examining treatment equipment, checking that supplies are fresh and adequate and – most importantly – ensuring that all members of the dental team are knowledgeable and up-to-date when it comes to the best available safety and procedural approaches.

In conjunction with this year’s SSW, five $1,000 educational scholarships will be awarded to dentists who work in the non-profit sector to facilitate their ability to receive advanced training in pediatric safety.

“The need for all sedation dentists to update and review their education pertaining to safe and effective treatment of children has never been greater,” says Dr. Michael Silverman, national chairman and founder of Sedation Safety Week.

As Dr. Silverman notes, changes in our health insurance laws are forecast to result in a large increase in the number of children who will gain dental coverage over the next five years. That, in turn, will mean that existing pediatric dentists will see the number of their patients increase, while general dentists will be increasingly called upon to provide care to children and teens.

Dr. Silverman, who launched SSW in March 2009, reminds dentists that “we can never let our guard down” when it comes to the safety and comfort of all patients, regardless of their age.

Each year, SSW provides sedation dentists with tools, materials and encouragement allowing them to review their process of patient selection, patient monitoring, staff training, staff drills and emergency preparedness. SSW activities are always free and open to all oral health professionals.

In addition, SSW encourages dentists to work in close partnership with their patients and their patients’ families to maximize the safety and comfort of those requiring treatment.

Patients who avoid the dentist until their oral health issues become acute, suffer needlessly and often discover that the extent of their problems is far greater than if they had received early treatment.

Sedation dentistry has proven over the past 15 years to be among the safest, most reliable methods of providing relief from anxiety to nervous dental patients as well as those seeking greater comfort during treatment.

Dr. Silverman is one of the world’s leading educators of sedation dentists and a co-founder of DOCS Education, which has trained more than 25,000 dentists and their team members on working successfully with millions of anxious patients – both adults and children. DOCS Education training courses for dentists and their team members meet or exceed safety standards established by individual state dental boards.

The appropriate use of sedation on children is a process that requires specialized training and continuing education. When dentists follow the protocols established by DOCS Education and standards recommended by the American Dental Association, sedation dentistry has consistently allowed dentists to deliver a broad range of oral health care to children and teens with unmatched safety and comfort.

Children and adolescents who enjoy a positive experience at the dentist, even when they require extensive treatments, grow up to regard going to the dentist as a positive experience.

“One goal of all dentists who treat children and teens should be to avoid creating future dental phobics,” Dr. Silverman says. “The best way to ensure lifelong oral health – and far fewer problems – is to practice good habits, including regularly visiting the dentist, from an early age.”

Dentists and other oral health professionals who are interested in participating in this year’s SSW, or learning more about safe sedation dentistry, may contact DOCS Education at 877-325-3627, or visit the SSW website at

Details of each day’s SSW activities will be posted shortly, as will more information on the $1,000 educational scholarships to be awarded to dentists who work in the non-profit sector.

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David Rollison
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