Dental board looking to change rules after two deaths - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Dental board looking to change rules after two deaths

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In North Carolina two deaths have been linked to the procedure that suppresses the patient's consciousness, but still allows them to be responsive. In North Carolina two deaths have been linked to the procedure that suppresses the patient's consciousness, but still allows them to be responsive.

RALEIGH, NC (WECT/AP) –  The North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners could change rules on emergency response and training after a second death linked to "conscious sedation."

In North Carolina two deaths have been linked to the procedure that suppresses the patient's consciousness, but still allows them to be responsive. The two deaths tied to the procedure are said to be because of poor patient selection.

Dr. Kuzma, of Kuzma Advanced Dentistry, has been using "conscious sedation" for 15 years. Kuzma says the procedure is safe, but he does a thorough evaluation beforehand to make sure the patient is healthy enough for the procedure.

"I think it's unfortunate that there were some incidents in North Carolina, but hopefully it will call us to a higher standard to make sure that it's even safer than maybe it has been in the past," Kuzma said. "Our patients can have a positive dental experience and we don't neglect those patients."

The board is asking for public and professional feedback on the rules and procedures. The first public comment hearing is in Greensboro on March 28. You can also send in comments by emailing info@ncdentalboard.org.

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.  AP contributed to this report.

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