2017 Winner, Dr. Kaveh Ghaboussi

Safe Sedation Dentist of the Year

1. DOCS: When did you first become a DOCS member?
Dr. Kaveh: It was about one year after I graduated from dental school. I think it was 2002 or ’03.

2. What about sedation dentistry captured your interest?
I was working for a big dental group, and as the most junior doctor, I was getting the patients the other docs didn’t want to work on. They were all really nice people, but they were hard to get numb, didn’t show up for appointments, gagged, and were pathologically anxious. One of my dentist friends suggested trying to oral conscious sedate these patients and so I started looking into sedation and researching it. That is when I found DOCS!

3. Do you have a personal hero or mentor who encouraged you on your journey through dental school?
I have so many, and I’m humbled that these giants in dentistry have spent the time to help me improve as a dentist:

  • Dr. Ara Nazarian has been a terrific implant mentor to me. He is one of the biggest names in implantology and I’m I’ve taken his courses and he has come to my office several times to help me with complex implant cases. Now he is the director of the Ascend Implant Academy. He introduced me to my orthodontic mentor below.
  • Dr. Rick Depaul has helped me implement adult orthodontics into my practice. Rick has done so much for dentistry and he makes himself available when you have questions or need help. He and his wife Margie are terrific people. I can’t recommend his courses highly enough.
  • Dr. Arun Garg is one of the most trusted implant teachers in dentistry (and a fantastic person). His courses are comprehensive, and he has a continuum that ends with his students placing implants on live patients in the Dominican Republic which is an unparalleled experience in continuing education. I am grateful that Dr. Garg encouraged me to start speaking to dentists on the benefits of cone beam technology and implants in the general practice.
  • Dr. Chris Stevens teaches THE BEST occlusion and TMJ courses I’ve ever taken, and his office is only a 10 min drive from mine! For years I traveled to different institutes and took tons of TMJ and occlusion CE, but Dr. Stevens’s is the best. It’s also the most cost-effective and the easiest to implement.
  • Dr. Silverman for starting DOCS and although I’ve only talked to him a handful of times, the organization he built has been inspiring.
  • Hernan Varas from Arrowhead Dental Lab who is always helping my team work at providing top-notch customer service and being able to help our patients move forward with treatment.

I am astounded that all of these leaders in the dental field find time to return calls and e-mails. They are great people who put their time and energy into helping elevate dentistry for our patients, and I’m grateful to each of them.

4. What is the most important benefit that sedation grants your patients?
It grants my patients peace of mind. They learn that they don’t have to be afraid anymore, and that’s huge.

5. What advice would you give a dentist considering offering sedation in their own practice?
I would say RUN, don’t walk, to the nearest course so you can start to learn about it!

6. What in your opinion is the biggest misconception the public has about sedation dentistry? Some patients come to our office specifically for sedation, but for those who found us for other reasons, I still find that most of my new patients have never heard about sedation dentistry, so it’s something we have to educate them about. It’s not just taking a pill and going to sleep!

7. What do you think Sedation Dentistry is moving towards as a profession?
Unfortunately, it seems that legislation is being pushed that will hinder patients’ ability to receive sedation dentistry. The positions I’ve seen on limiting sedation appear to have more to do with turf wars between specialties than actual patient safety. They definitely don’t take patient welfare and needs into account. It’s a shame, and I hope that we can come together as a profession and overcome this type of nonsense. Let’s get back to taking care of our patients in the best way possible!