Becoming a Dental Anesthesiologist
Dental Anesthesiologists administer anesthesia to a patient during oral surgery and other dental procedures. They use a combination of general and local anesthetic for pain management of patients. They oversee the vital signs and condition of the patient such as blood pressure, body temperature, pulse, breathing, etc. to administer anesthesia properly. Their key responsibilities include consulting with the patient and surgical team before a procedure, monitoring the patient’s vital signs during and after the procedure, adjusting required levels of anesthesia, developing a plan for suitable pain management of the patient etc.
Dental Anesthesiologist may find employment in varieties dental care settings such as hospitals, dentist’s office, group medical practices, military facilities etc. They usually work full time. In some cases, they need to work during evenings, on weekends, or overnight shifts.
To become a Dental Anesthesiologist, the aspiring candidates must have to earn the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) at an accredited dental school. In addition, they need to complete a two-year residency program in dental anesthesiology, accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
The students have to spend a total of eight years to achieve the required credentials for a dental anesthesiology residency. The syllabus includes anatomy, biology, organic Chemistry, physics etc. with emphasizing on anesthesia, pain relief techniques, intravenous sedation and information on dental care.
Certification and Licensure
Since Dental Anesthesiologists in USA requires to be licensed, the aspiring candidates must have to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination. These professionals can obtain exam-based certification from the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists.
Apart the clinical knowledge, Dental Anesthesiologists possess various skills such as highly detail-oriented, empathy towards patient, high medical ethics, ability to remain calm and work in pressure situation, decision making and management abilities, effective communications and interpersonal skills, good physical stamina to work for long hours, computer skills etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
Job outlook for a Dental Anesthesiologist remains excellent across the USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 16% from 2012 to 2022, higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Dental Anesthesiologist was $170,110 in May 2014.