Who we are:
The American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists (ASDA) is comprised of dentists who specialize in sedation and general anesthesia for dental, oral and maxillofacial surgery. Our specialty requires three years of full-time, accredited postdoctoral training after becoming dentists.
We provide general anesthesia and sedation for a wide variety of dental patients, including very young children who cannot cooperate, children who need extensive work (such as those with cavities or abscesses on multiple teeth), adults who are fearful of dental work, people with physical or mental challenges that make it difficult to accept treatment, those for whom local anesthesia doesn’t work well, people who want to have all their dental work done at one time, and many others.
Dentist Anesthesiologists typically provide anesthesia services working collaboratively with other dentists, who perform the necessary dental care. They are also involved in teaching anxiety and pain control in dental schools to dental students and post-graduate specialist trainees; providing continuing education courses in sedation, general anesthesia, medicine, and medical emergencies; and conducting research related to anesthesiology in dentistry.
Dentist Anesthesiologists, physician anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists are all trained to provide general anesthesia from young children to older adults. But only Dentist Anesthesiologists are residency trained and uniquely qualified to provide care in the office-based setting. Our members, who begin their post-doctoral training in dental anesthesiology as licensed dentists, have the most extensive knowledge of dental and oral surgical care, which helps them determine the optimum anesthetic plan based on patient and surgical needs.
The ASDA’s mission is to help dentists in both general and specialty practice treat challenging patients safely and efficiently, provide ongoing education for dental anesthesiology specialists, establish anesthesiology departments in dental schools and enhance clinical care through research endeavors.
We are dedicated to helping our members provide the highest quality patient care and assisting them in practice management. To that end, we provide access to continuing education courses, seminars, clinical practice updates and position papers, relevant news and information, as well as a Career Center and networking opportunities.
We provide resources and guidance for dentists and dental students who wish to become Dentist Anesthesiologists.
General anesthesia was discovered by two dentists in the 19th century. Dr. Horace Wells discovered the clinical use of nitrous oxide in 1844. Dr. William T.G. Morton discovered ether anesthesia which was first demonstrated at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846. The chief of surgery at the hospital was reported to have said, “This is no humbug!” Since that time, dentists have been intimately involved in general anesthesia because tooth extraction was, and still is, the most common surgical procedure performed. Additionally, dentists continue to be very active in the development and use of local anesthetics.
Dentists were among the first doctors to develop techniques of sedation where surgical procedures could be carried out without full unconsciousness. Dentists have gone on to pioneer office-based sedation and general anesthesia which has now become commonplace in not only dentistry and oral surgery, but many medical surgeries as well.