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Area dentist receives permit to use IV anesthetic on patients

Dr. David Painter his second office with two practices, Union Chapel Dentistry and Sedation Dentistry of Fort Wayne, at 12714 Coldwater Road in Huntertown, last month. Painter and his staff of hygienists, from left: Teresa Beard, Mary Muns and Liz Dyksti. (Courtesy photo)
Dr. David Painter his second office with two practices, Union Chapel Dentistry and Sedation Dentistry of Fort Wayne, at 12714 Coldwater Road in Huntertown, last month. Painter and his staff of hygienists, from left: Teresa Beard, Mary Muns and Liz Dyksti. (Courtesy photo)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Monday, July 01, 2013 07:16 am
Many people put off dental appointments for five to 10 years, risking serious long-term damage to their gums and teeth. Concerned by this trend, Dr. David Painter, 52, says he is the first general dentist in northeast Indiana to have his sedation dentistry permit.Seeing too many people with avoidable root canals, cavities, and need for restorative work, Painter hopes that offering IV sedation as a pain killer will get more patients to make the biannual trip to the dentist.

The permit came just in time for the announcement of his second office with two practices, Union Chapel Dentistry and Sedation Dentistry of Fort Wayne, at 12714 Coldwater Road, which opened last month. His initial office, Auburn Family Dentistry, is at 751 North St. in Auburn. With several patients driving from Fort Wayne and even Ohio, Painter said he wanted to be more “centrally located.”

A graduate of the Indiana University School of Dentistry, Painter has practiced dentistry since 1995. He now holds fellowships with the Academy of General Dentistry, Pierre Fauchard Academy, Misch International Implant Institute, and International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

During his sedation certification at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, Painter spent about 12 days in classes and a final week in training with live patients. Whereas most dentists use “laughing gas” or pills as pain killers, the sedation permit allows Painter to put patients under as long as he is always present in the room with a dental hygienist monitoring the patient's breathing.

Teresa Beard, one of Painter's hygienists, has worked 12 years with his practice. She reported no problems so far with the sedation procedures and said she and Dr. Painter “work to eliminate problems before they happen … and have additional training on monitors and practice scenarios, such as when to call 911.”

Painter said that before being considered for sedation, patients must provide a thorough medical history and have their vitals checked and an EKG performed. One of the biggest risk factors for sedation is high blood pressure or excessive use of prescriptions, including anxiety medications.

“A lot of people are on anxiety drugs, and we don't want to overmedicate, which is the biggest risk … you have to know the patient before you start, and most people come in with very interesting histories,” he said.

While non-sedating methods work for some patients, Painter added that no two patients are the same.

“For headaches, you might take two aspirin and I might take one ibuprofen. Everyone's metabolism is very different, and everything depends on the patient,” he said.

Along with sedation, Sedation Dentistry of Fort Wayne offers SomnoDent, which treats mild to moderate sleep apnea.

The practices also offer ClearCorrect Invisible Braces and Philips Zoom teeth whitening, which Painter said draws more “older professionals” who don't want whitening to take weeks before showing results.

“In a little over an hour, you can go from four to eight shades whiter,” Painter said.

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