Dental board begins hearings to improve anesthesia oversight

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Changes are in the works to keep you and your family safe when you go to the dentist.

The State Board of Dental Examiners began hearings Monday to develop a plan to improve oversight of dentists giving anesthesia to patients.

The Texas State Board Of Dental Examiners began looking for solutions to recent deaths and medical emergencies involving patients under anesthesia. The agency must send the proposed changes to lawmakers in January.

A committee of dentists met to discuss changes that include requiring dentists to have a written emergency plan for anesthesia permit holders and doing anesthesia inspections and evaluations.

Dr. Nick Lee with Texas Society of Anesthesiologists said, “You could be the best anesthesiologist, CRNA, dental anesthesiologist. Your training could be perfect and that patient can be healthy, but bad things happen.”

Daisy Lynn Torres died in March after a visit to Austin Children’s Dentistry. An autopsy found complications from anesthesia caused the toddler’s death.

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