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Arizona children are safe in dentist’s chair

PHOENIX — An ABC News investigative report found some states require very little for dentists to be certified to administer sedatives to children and that
12 children have died nationally after being sedated by dentists.

Arizona dentists face some of the toughest standards in the nation. Kevin
Earle is executive director of Arizona Dental Association and said if
parents have fears make sure their dentist is board certified.

“If you go to a board-certified pediatric dentist you can be certain the
individual has had proper training. Where the concern lies is with
individuals who have not had that extensive training.

“The use of oral
sedatives have become much more common in the past 10 years so if you
have a general dentist who graduated more than 10 years ago, there is an
obligation to have more extensive training before they proceed with using
oral sedatives.”

Earle said board-certified dentists are trained to deal with any emergency.

“There’s a rigorous permitting process that includes having proper
equipment on site in case there is an incident and having proper
medication in case there’s a reaction. The assistants are trained to react
quickly in the case of an incident.”

“We’re lucky here in Arizona that those have been in place for more than 10
years.”

Earle said to the best of his knowledge there has never been an
incident involving the administering of oral sedation.

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