Tye Binuyo: To get started could you give us some background information about your practice as well as your journey in dentistry?
Dr. Futerman: I grew up and studied dentistry on Long Island, NY. After joining the Navy on a health professions scholarship I trained as an oral surgeon. This exposed me to the need for anesthesia providers for dentistry and so I continued my post grad residency in anesthesia at the mount Sinai hospital in NYC.
Tye: In layman terms what exactly is sedation dentistry?
Dr. Futerman: Sedation dentistry is the administration of mild sedatives for anxious patients undergoing dental work.
Tye: What is the difference between sedation and advanced sedation dentistry?
Dr. Futerman: Advanced Sedation dentistry offers the usual Sedation dentistry option as well as the ability to go under general anesthesia for more complex patients and dental work.
Sedation dentistry is limited to routine dental procedures on apprehensive patients and it is offered by many dentists who did a course in Sedation dentistry. Since I am an anesthesiologist, I offer deeper levels of sedation including general anesthesia (completely asleep like in the hospital) for complex dental care and can offer this service to children and medically compromised.
Tye: Is sleep dentistry the same as advanced sedation dentistry?
Dr. Futerman: Sleep dentistry is a term lay people use. It most likely refers to Sedation dentistry.
Tye: Is Sedation or Advanced Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Dr. Futerman: I have the same training and same equipment for monitoring and administering anesthesia as any anesthesiologist in the hospital so...yes
Tye: Who is a good candidate for sedation or advanced sedation dentistry?
Dr. Futerman: Sedation dentistry is a good option for healthy but mildly apprehensive adults requiring routine dental care. Advanced Sedation dentistry offers higher levels of sedation including general anesthesia for patients of all ages and those with medical morbidities, and for more complex dental procedures.
Tye: What does the process involve from the time I get to your office?
Dr. Futerman: First is a consultation with the dentist to get a dental plan. Then the anesthesiologist (me) talks to the patient or the patients physician to come up with an anesthetic plan.
Then patient is put to sleep either with medications through an IV or by breathing anesthetic agents through a mask. The patient falls asleep, the dentist completes the dental work, the anesthesiologist wakes patient up, patient then goes home to recover with full instructions.
Tye: Will I be breathing on my own during the process?
Dr. Futerman: Depending on the level of anesthesia the patient may breathe on their own or receive assistance in breathing by a mechanical ventilator (anesthesia machine)
Tye: Will I feel anything while under sedation?
Dr. Futerman: Under regular dental sedation the patient may have some recall of events and may feel that something is happening though they typically won’t remember. It’s similar to having a colonoscopy aka twilight anesthesia. Under general anesthesia patient will not feel or remember anything even if the procedure takes several hours.
Tye: How long will it take for the effects to wear off?
Dr. Futerman: We have staff to help the patient recover in the office for approx 30 min. Then the patient is released to their “escort” and may feel slightly groggy for a few hours.
Tye: Does my insurance cover sedation or advanced sedation dentistry?
Dr. Futerman: Insurance covers the dentistry but not the sedation/anesthesia. Many patients find that they are able to get all of their dental care in one visit while under anesthesia so the convenience of avoiding multiple visits and being asleep for the entire case is what they are paying for.
Tye: Is there additional training a dentist must undergo to offer sedation?
Dr. Futerman: Sedation dentist take a course lasting several weeks. Anesthesiologist (me) offering advanced Sedation dentistry completes a hospital residency lasting several years.
Tye: What would you say to anyone who is embarrassed about the fear of visiting the Dentist?
Dr. Futerman: You’re not alone! We see many patients requiring our services. After treatment is complete most patients wonder why they waited so long. The embarrassment quickly fades when the patients wake up with their new healthy smile.
Tye: What's the best way to schedule a one-on-one consultation with your practice?
Dr. Futerman: Give us a call at 757-769-7155.