Home Orthodontics During Oral Cancer Awareness Month, AANA Emphasizes Access to Safe Dental Anesthesia Care – Dentistry Today

During Oral Cancer Awareness Month, AANA Emphasizes Access to Safe Dental Anesthesia Care – Dentistry Today

by adminjay

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) reminds the public that the best prevention of oral health issues is early detection. However, patients also need to be aware of the critical importance of ensuring access to safe anesthesia care during oral cancer treatments, including surgery.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 58,450 new cases of oral or oropharyngeal cancer (cancer that develops in the back of the throat) are estimated in 2024. About 12,230 people will die from these cancers in 2024. The death rates for cancers of the mouth and throat increased by 0.6% per year from 2009 through 2021, after decades of decline.

Proactive oral health habits, such as regular check-ups with your dentist or healthcare provider, can help ensure that oral cancer is detected at its earliest stages. Once diagnosed, surgery is a common treatment for oral cancer, depending upon where the tumor is, its size, and if it has spread. Sometimes, reconstructive surgery is needed too. This is done to repair the damage caused by taking out the tumor. It can also help restore the way your body works and looks.

Sedation for any oral surgery increases the complexity of care and emphasizes the importance of having sedation and anesthesia provided by an anesthesia professional, such as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), also known as a nurse anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist, who is focused only on patient safety, monitoring, and vigilance.

“Before you have oral surgery, consult with your cancer care team about your options for anesthesia,” said AANA president Dru Riddle, PhD, DNP, CRNA, FAAN. “Patients can count on a CRNA to stay with them throughout their procedure and provide high-quality, patient-centered care.”

“Each patient has a unique response to medications utilized for sedation and anesthesia. As anesthesia experts, CRNAs are available to continuously monitor the patient and can focus on changes in the patient’s condition and intervene as necessary in emergent situations,” said Riddle. “Depending upon the complexity of the oral surgery, it is important to address any concerns patients may have about the anesthesia plan with their anesthesia provider. CRNAs will develop a patient-specific plan of care, monitor the patient throughout the perioperative process, and provide postoperative guidance/education specific to any care and precautions to take after anesthesia.”

CRNAs are highly educated, trained, and qualified anesthesia experts. They have the education and experience to react quickly to emergency situations in oral surgery settings, possessing the expertise to administer the anesthesia and focus solely on the patient’s condition and intervene as necessary if critical events occur during the procedure.

CRNAs provide 50 million anesthetics per year in the United States, working in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered. CRNAs are skilled to provide safe, high-quality, and cost-effective care as members of patient-centered dental care teams in all settings, including dental offices, in accordance with state law.

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