Contact 2: A Look At Sedation Dentistry

Contact 2: A Look At Sedation Dentistry

There are 11 comments on the Fox2Now story from Mar 1, 2010, titled Contact 2: A Look At Sedation Dentistry. In it, Fox2Now reports that:

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO - Hate the idea of going to the dentist? Lots of people do and that's why sedation dentistry is on the rise.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Fox2Now.


Saint Louis, MO

#1 Mar 2, 2010
I had sedation dentistry by way of a pill. I had no adverse reaction. I was how ever completely out of it. I remember very little of that entire day. I took 1 pill 1 hour before my appointment, it took effect in about 30 minutes. I am not finished with my dental work, and I will do sedation again. Folks, just choose your dentist wisely, do your research. A reputable dentist will give you a work up before going ahead with sedation. Use common sense.

San Jose, CA

#2 Mar 2, 2010
Bonnie wrote:
I had sedation dentistry by way of a pill. I had no adverse reaction. I was how ever completely out of it. I remember very little of that entire day. I took 1 pill 1 hour before my appointment, it took effect in about 30 minutes. I am not finished with my dental work, and I will do sedation again. Folks, just choose your dentist wisely, do your research. A reputable dentist will give you a work up before going ahead with sedation. Use common sense.
This is for anyone who watched this interview - we had been going to this dentist for over 10 years and two doctors cleared my husband physically for this procedure. Dentists do not give workups - they aren't in the right field of medicine to do physical exams. It was the dentist who didn't use common sense to not know when a patient is dying in front of her- not the patient or the patient's family. Plus the ambulance wasn't called until 25 minutes after my husband initially went down. So to say that the patient and their family used bad judgement is like a slap in the face. Please don't comment if you don't know the whole story. This interview was to make people aware of the risks - not to pass judgement on our decisions.

Saint Louis, MO

#3 Mar 3, 2010
Good for you,Sarah! After reading the first comment I was shocked at it. The person that wrote it obviously didn't really let it sink in about what really happened to this man.There wasn't enough time also to reveal the entire story either. No one knows the difficult situation that you were up against and should think before you write a comment like that.

Saint Louis, MO

#4 Mar 3, 2010
Sarah you should be ashamed of yourself, god does not like ugly

Saint Louis, MO

#5 Mar 3, 2010
Ugly, is when you do not tell all the truth, only what you think is the truth. All of the Dr.s by name should have been mentioned in your artical on video. Not just the Dentist name and where the office is located. Medical Dr.'s don't always use their common sense and people die while under their care, but do there names get plasted all over the News and web sight like you did this Dentist, put yourself in the Dentist shoe's when his 2 Dr.'s signed off on him so the work could be done and you had a bad feeling something was gonna go wrong, oh yea I guess you forgot about that feeling, You and Your Husband could have said NO, I don't want to do this sedation because of my Health. But remember your husband LOVED his Dentist and trusted there work, that came from his mouth. So you got your money and now you open your mouth, and spread lies, hope you put some of it towards fixing your teeth.

United States

#6 Mar 4, 2010
This preventable death happened three years ago. How many patients could have been harmed in the meantime? Without proper monitoring, you are literally putting your life in the hands of a dentist who has often had less than two days training in this technique. They may have inadequate monitoring of your vitals set up. Their staff may not be trained properly on when to call the ambulance. That is only part of what happened in this case. How can you judge? Do you want to take that risk? Look up the Mo. malpractice publications and read about the case. Check out the facts!
Susan Wells Vaughan

Saint Pauls, NC

#7 Mar 29, 2010
I am not hiding my name because I want everyone to know my case is REAL. I commented and it hasn't shown up yet, so I am adding to that comment.
My daughter was BRAIN-DAMAGED by 1 mg of Halcion.

This is either a conspiracy of money or of stupidity and ignorance, but a number of respected dental researchers have been gradually, over the years, recommending that higher and higher doses of this drug be used. I've been following their publications. The most inappropriate commentary on the drug I read was published in March/April 2007 General Dentistry, written by Donaldson and Goodchild, recommending as much as 2 mg for patients with long appointments and of sufficient weight. Paul Moore, in turn, responded in a published letter saying this was going too far, in so many words. However, apparently the damage was done, even though the original authors wrote back and said they never meant the 2 mg to be a recommendation or guideline or something to that effect.

The drug (Halcion/triazolam) has lost its appeal as a sleeping pill, the only use for which it has FDA approval and at now REDUCED DOSES at that.

So, as I see it after 3 months of solid, peer-reviewed journal research and common sense, this drug is being covertly marketed -- sexed-up - and slickly promoted by DOCS and others as a "safe" dental sedative, to, covertly, recoup losses for Pharmacia on sleeping pill sales. I have been told by doctors and pharmacies that most doctors rarely prescribe it as a sleeping pill any more.

The manufacturer took drastic measures when this happened in the past (after a few people died and/or went crazy because of it), and evidently it is behind this new and growing use and abuse of the drug as a dental sedative. THERE ARE SEVERAL OTHER SEDATIVES THAT CAN BE USED THAT ARE NOT AS DANGEROUS AS THIS ONE.

It should be noted that people in the UK have dental work, WITH SEDATION, every day, and Halcion/triazolam is BANNED IN THAT COUNTRY, which is not exactly what you'd calL a third world.

So, apparently the drug is not necessary as a dental sedative and NEVER WAS as a sleeping pill.

It is a short-acting drug, which manufacturers originally expected to cause less of a hangover, only to learn that its very short acting nature causes it to be far more dangerous than any drug in its class (benzodiazepines), even worse than Xanax.
See Doctor Peter Breggin's, "Brain Damaging Effects of Benzodiazepines."

What it is, really, is a HUGE money-making drug for Upjohn Pharmacia/Monsanto and for DOCS, and apparently for those who are promoting its off-label use irresponsibly, calling it a "very safe" drug, and white-washing its past, which I hope my last post documents - if not, read John Abraham's work -- Univ. of Sussex.

These (whom I suspect are Manufacturer-paid or benefited) researchers are also claiming or implying the drug has a Wide margin of safety when it clearly has a NARROW margin, one of the reasons the UK banned it.

Mrs. Coleman is courageous and apparently persistent in seeing this lawsuit through, and there should be MANY MORE like it for any drug that is being used and marketed in this way.

I am very sorry about hers and her family's loss. This was a preventable death. My daughter is alive, but she is not the same person she was, and I don't know if she will ever be again. You can be assured of one thing. There are NO drugs of any kind being used in her treatment for the brain injury caused by Halcion/triazolam.

Despite all the slick sales propaganda, in the end, dentists should know that they are ultimately responsible for their patients' well-being and for KNOWING more than a little about the drug they are using, especially one NOT approved for that use.
Susan Wells Vaughan

Saint Pauls, NC

#8 Mar 29, 2010

John Abraham's investigation of Halcion's "flawed" pre-market trials and the mfg's lawsuit against Dr. Ian Oswald, who had the guts to call it what it was - fraud -- and unfortunately lived in the UK where he did not have freedom of speech to say so.

It explains very well why the drug was banned in the UK and the dirty little tricks Upjohn tried to get away with to try to get and keep it on the market.

It should be required reading for any dentist or researcher using or recommending this dangerous drug.

Abraham's follow-up on why the drug stayed on the US market after being banned in the UK is a keeper as well --- you'll have to google his name with Julie Sheppard to find it -- It's a University of Sussex publication - School of Social Sciences.
Susan Wells Vaughan

Saint Pauls, NC

#9 Mar 29, 2010
PS I am Not from Clayton. don't even know where it is.

Lexington, KY

#10 Mar 30, 2010
I am a dentist and hate to hear such a sad story as this. Halcion is a safe drug, as are most benzodiazepines. Any dentist willing to prescribe this drug needs to have working knowledge of proper dosing and any potential side effects. An accurate medical history of each patient should be obtained as well as patient prescriptions. The dentist should also know the "red flags", meaning, know which patients can safely be administered the drug and those that cannot. It said that the gentlemen received 4 times the daily maximum dose. It should have been the dentists responsibility to administer the proper amount. If he wasn't responding properly to the drug the procedure should have been aborted or other safe measures of handling anxiety should have been considered. I hate when a dentist gets into trouble because our license comes at a "high cost", however, it is our responsibility to protect it by providing patients with a safe standard of care within the confines of the law.

Siler City, NC

#11 May 28, 2012
If this were a "safe" drug, why was it banned in the UK, which never approved it for use at higher than 0.5 mg?

Again, though you insist on caution, you refuse to acknowledge that this drug is not even a standard benzodiazepine - and it is the most toxic of ALL those put into this class.

This drug metabolizes through only ONE P450 pathway, meaning anything competing, even grapefruit juice, can slow down or impede its metabolism, causing the patient to be overdosed, even at low levels.

Indeed it is not a safe drug. period. you misrepresent it as many dentists are doing.

At least if you approach its use with a clear understanding of its toxicity and ability to cause great harm, and properly warn the patient of these facts, then you will have given him/her a chance for INFORMED consent.

This is a drug that FDA scientists opposed - only passed because of corruption at the FDA - and after so many horrible incidents occurred, it was that same pressure that kept it on the market, only lowering the recommended dose to 0.25 mg with a max of 0.5.

So before you call this drug "safe" do the research. Abraham and Sheppard. It doesn't get any clearer than this.

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