California Dental Anesthesiology Careers

Dental anesthesiologists administer a variety of medications and sedatives to quell the pain, anxiety, and discomfort that may accompany certain dental procedures. These medications and sedatives are typically given intravenously (IV) by a licensed dental anesthesiologist, with the assistance of one or two life support and anesthesia trained staff members. Dental anesthesiologists are a staple in all dental settings from general dentistry practices to oral surgery centers.

Anesthesiologists work in all states across the U.S., of course. However, California is home to more anesthesiologists than any other state.

Dental Anesthesiology Education and Training Programs

In general, dental anesthesiologists must complete an additional one to 3 year residency after completing a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) approved dental program (graduate program in oral and maxillofacial surgery in the State of California). A program accepted by the Dental Board of California will satisfy the education requirement (in this state) as well. In general, the residency program in anesthesia must be approved by the Board of Directors of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology (ADSA).

In addition to completing dental school and a residency, all California-based dental anesthesiologists must obtain a permit to administer general anesthesia. To qualify for a permit, the state requires:

Documentation of the successful completion of a residency program in anesthesia of not less than one calendar year, that is approved by the Board of Directors ADSA for eligibility for fellowship in general anesthesia.
Documentation of the successful completion of a graduate program in oral and maxillofacial surgery, which has been approved by CODA
Have a fellowship in anesthesia approved by the Board of Directors of the ADSA

A typical residency program in dental anesthesia requires hands-on training and study in areas such as Anesthesia-Local Anesthesia, Local Anesthesia Techniques, Anesthesia-Medical Emergencies, Clinical Medicine-Patient Management, Anesthesia-Pain and Anxiety Control, Clinical Medicine-Minimal Sedation, Nitrous Oxide Sedation Lab, and Moderate Sedation.

Dental Anesthesiology Schools and Training Programs in California

California is home to several dental anesthesiology programs that are approved by the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology (ADSA) and the American Dental Board of Anesthesiology (ADBA). They include:

University of California Los Angeles, School of Dentistry, Division of Dental Anesthesiology, Los Angeles, CA
Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, Department of Dental Anesthesiology, Loma Linda, CA

Students do not have to pay tuition for dental anesthesiology residency programs. For example, at one top school for dental anesthesiology, tuition and fees are paid for by the program and residents receive an annual stipend of $30,000 per year.

Employment and Earnings Outlook for California Dental Anesthesiologists

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide employment information for dental anesthesiologists as a separate group, so the following figures are for the broad group “anesthesiologists.”

The U.S. is home to 29,930 anesthesiologists, averaging $232,830 per year. In 2008, the U.S. was home to 34,230 anesthesiologists, averaging $197,570 per year. As stated earlier, California is home to the largest population of anesthesiologists, with a population of 3,670 practicing anesthesiologists averaging $216,850 per year. In 2008, the state was home to 3,250 anesthesiologists averaging $209,900 per year.  
Among the top 10 metropolitan areas for anesthesiologists, the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos Metro area has the eighth highest employment level for this occupation. The 450 anesthesiologists living in this metro area average a hefty $216,600 per year.