2015 Winner, Dr. Robin J. Henderson

Your Name Belongs Here: Sedation Safety Dentist of the Year Honorees

They are not household names. Carroccia. Phillips. Gray. Maddux. Claeys. Blann. Gesker.

Yet these seven dedicated men and women have done an enormous amount to advance our entire profession’s commitment to safe, comfortable, sedation dentistry.

Our seven distinguished previous winners of the annual Sedation Safety Week Dentist of the Year Honors not only strive week in and week out to establish and maintain the oral health of their individual patients, they also serve as national role models for dental professionals who place safety and comfort ahead of all other considerations in their approach to patient care.

Now, more than ever before, we need to let our patients know that their safety when they visit the dentist, is our overarching priority.

As Sedation Safety Week founder and national chairman Dr. Michael D. Silverman noted in his keynote essay this year, the popularity of sedation dentistry and its growing acceptance among those who previously feared visiting their dentists mean that as a profession we are seeing greater numbers of patients with less than perfect health. Their non-oral health issues make the application of safe sedation more challenging.

We are not the only ones taking note. State dental regulators — charged with the protection of the public at large – are also revisiting the way in which sedation dentistry is administered. Their scrutiny is essential.

Yet regulation alone is no substitute for the case-by-case, individual commitment that tens of thousands of sedation dentists make daily — exemplified by our annual Sedation Safety Dentist of the Year recipients — to do everything in their power to assure the well-being of their patients.

That entails a career-long commitment to continuing education, training, and emergency drills. It means utilizing every available piece of equipment designed for safety and comfort. And it means offering five-star customer service that puts nervous patients at ease and makes coming to the dentist a pleasure — not a nightmare.

Safety isn’t easy and, candidly, it doesn’t come inexpensively.

When they could otherwise be on the golf course, cruising the Mediterranean, or at home with family and friends, Carroccia, Phillips, Gray, Maddux, Claeys, Blann, and Gesker have invested the necessary time and resources to advance their education, better prepare their teams, purchase, and train on state-of-the-art equipment, comfort nervous patients, and serve the indigent.

Truth be told, there are thousands of other committed oral health professionals, who like our seven prior honorees, merit the respect and recognition of their peers for a safe job, well done.

Along with our 2015 Sedation Safety Dentist of the Year honoree, Dr. Robin J. Henderson, we applaud each and every oral health professional who places safety and comfort at the top of their priorities list.

Congratulations to you all!