The dental hygiene sector has gained advanced training and knowledge on how to properly administer dental sedation, especially for pediatric use. In fact, each year there are roughly 250,000 pediatric dental sedations performed, making the practice much more widespread. Sadly, despite all the technology and information dental professionals have available to them, there are still complications every so often.
A Central Florida mother is trying to get lawmakers to take a closer look at the entire practice of sedation dentistry after she lost her son two days after his dental extraction.
According to Click Orlando, 17-year-old Christopher Power was in for what was supposed to be a simple dental procedure to remove a few teeth before he got braces. But he stopped breathing once he was under anesthesia.
“Not having my child leaving with me, it’s heartbreaking for any parent,” said Alison Power, Christopher’s mother.
Alison now wants lawmakers, both locally and nationally, to take a closer look into how sedation dentistry is governed and administered within the dental community.
“He will not die in vain,” she added.
The dentist who performed Christopher’s procedure, Dr. Steven Baxter, actually had two other administrative complaints on file with the Florida Board of Dentistry for failing to take a preoperative radiograph during a dental surgery in 2014 and 2001.
Power was under the impression that Dr. Baxter was, in fact, an oral surgeon, but he is not.
“I’d seen no reason not to trust him,” she said. “The way it is being done right now, [with] someone in the room who has no knowledge, it’s unacceptable.”
Power has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baxter and asked the Board of Dentistry to revoke or suspend his dental license. She now wears a green wristband to honor Christopher’s memory.
So far, no hearing has been set in the case before the Board of Dentistry. Until the wrongful death lawsuit is resolved, the grieving mother has another mission: to get Florida lawmakers to take a closer look at the sedation dentistry industry.
When improperly administered, anesthesia can be extremely dangerous, and Power wants to ensure sedation dentists are qualified to administer any drugs they give to patients in the future.