Dental procedures often require the use of anesthesia, but not just anyone can administer medication or monitor a patient under sedation. Instead, special certification is required. Failure to ensure this certification is in place can result in serious consequences for the overseeing dentist. Sadly, for one Minnesota dentist, this lesson was learned the hard way. Learn more about the risks of uncertified dental assistants and discover how to protect your dental license if you or your practice ever become the subject of an investigation.
Worst-Case Scenario Highlights the Reason for Certification
The Minnesota dentist, now currently facing disciplinary action from his state’s dental board, had come under investigation after a teen patient died in his care. She had been there to have her wisdom teeth removed and was, as most patients are, sedated for the procedure. At first, everything appeared to be fine, but toward the end of the procedure, the patient started convulsing with seizures. She then went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics came and transported her to the hospital but they were unable to save her life.
After an investigation and an autopsy, it was revealed that the teen had a slight abnormality in her heart; there was also evidence of a viral infection in her brain. Though no one can say for certain if these contributed to her death, it is possible that they were a factor. Still, the dentist has not been let off the hook; instead, he is expected to face disciplinary action for allowing his staff to work outside their scope of practice. The agreement between the dentist and the dental board has not been disclosed to the public, but the public nature of this mistake could damage his reputation, in and of itself. Do not let this happen to you or your practice. Instead, learn from this dentist’s mistakes.
Learning from the Mistakes of Others
Although news sources did not disclose the reason for lack of certification among the dentist’s staff, there are many possible circumstances. Perhaps the dentist was not aware that certification was required for the monitoring of sedated patients. Alternatively, the assistant may have had certification at the time of hire but allowed it to lapse, and the dentist was unaware. In either scenario, due diligence could have prevented the oversight, and perhaps even the disciplinary action taken against the dentist.
Under Investigation? Contact Our Texas Dental License Defense Attorney
If you or your practice are under investigation, contact Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our Texas dental license defense attorney can protect your rights during the investigation process and will work aggressively to mitigate any potential consequences. Schedule your personalized consultation to get started. Call 512-228-7946.