The presence of ETCO2 monitors in dental offices is becoming more common today as dentists recognize the many important links between oral health and systemic health. Once upon a time, dentists would only ask patients questions related to their oral health, such as how many times a day they flossed and whether they drank coffee. So what is an ETCO2 monitor?
An ETCO2 monitor is a machine that uses sensors to measure the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in a patient's exhaled breath. Carbon dioxide is produced when the body breaks down food for energy and is excreted when we exhale. The level of carbon dioxide in our blood is an indicator of how well our bodies are functioning.
Normal CO2 levels in the blood are between 35 and 45 mmHg. If the CO2 level in the breath the patient exhales falls below this level, it may be a sign that they are not getting enough oxygen. Conversely, if a patient has higher than normal levels of CO2 in their exhaled air, it may indicate that they are retaining too much carbon dioxide. ETCO2 monitor usage can help dentists identify when a patient's CO2 levels are outside normal ranges so they can take corrective action if necessary.
Sedation dentistry requires ETCO2 monitors as ETCO2 monitor usage helps to ensure the safety of sedated patients. As we mentioned before, carbon dioxide levels in the blood can give an indication of how well our bodies are functioning. This is especially true when it comes to oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood.
If CO2 levels are too low in a sedated patient, it may be a sign that they are not getting enough oxygen. This can lead to hypoxemia, a condition characterized by low levels of oxygen in the blood. Hypoxemia can have serious consequences such as brain damage, cardiac arrhythmias, and even death.
If CO2 levels are too high in a sedated patient, it may indicate that they are retaining too much carbon dioxide. This can lead to hypercapnia, a condition characterized by high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. Hypercapnia can also lead to serious consequences such as brain damage, cardiac arrhythmias, and even death.
ETCO2 monitor usage helps dentists track CO2 levels of sedated patients so they can take corrective action if necessary. This helps ensure the safety of the sedated patient and minimizes the risk of serious complications.