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Speaking Up for Patient Safety in Dental Offices

I try to speak on patient safety at dental conferences whenever possible. I had the privilege of speaking at two recent conferences that were especially inspiring and educational.

First, this past September, I lectured at Harvard’s Pediatric Sedation Outside the OR Symposium in San Francisco. My lecture was well received, and I enjoyed hearing the other speakers at the conference. In particular, I appreciated the insights of Dr. James Tom, DDS (Professor of Dental Anesthesiology at USC), and Dr. Jason Brady, DDS (Dentist Anesthesiologist, AZ). Over the years, as a M.D. anesthesiologist, I have learned so much from dentist anesthesiologists such as Dr. Steve Ganzberg, DDS, Prof at UCLA. Dentist anesthesiologists have my deepest respect.

Next, this past October, I spoke at the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Meeting in Chicago. Another great conference, and again, I learned so much from the oral surgery community. It was especially rewarding for me to meet key leaders in patient safety such as Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, DMD (Chair of Oral Surgery, U. of Indiana) and Dr. Robert Bosack, DDS (U. of Illinois). These two oral surgeons, among many others, have long been champions of dental patient safety, and having lunch with Dr. Bosack was in itself worth the trip to chilly Chicago. Interacting with M.D. anesthesiologists, dentist anesthesiologists, and oral surgeons at these conferences reminds me that we are ALL working towards patient safety. I know we have our political differences and turf battles, but our ultimate goal must be to overcome our differences and put patient safety first. Towards that objective, I am actively networking with other dentists and M.D. anesthesiologists in my area to provide more comprehensive, timely, efficient, and most importantly, SAFE anesthesia services for our dental patients. More information will be forthcoming, and I am very excited about the possibility of other colleagues helping me with my practice. I would also encourage everyone, regardless of background, to check out the DENTAL PATIENT SAFETY FOUNDATION. Led by Dr. Bosack, the DPSF is an independent patient safety organization devoted to non-partisan data collection and analysis of critical events to promote patient safety. For more information, visit and sign up at their website:

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