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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional And Occupational Licensing
Agency 60. Board Of Dentistry
Chapter 21. Regulations Governing the Practice of Dentistry
10/21/2021

18VAC60-21-280. Administration of minimal sedation.

A. Education and training requirements. A dentist who utilizes minimal sedation shall have training in and knowledge of:

1. The medications used, the appropriate dosages, the potential complications of administration, the indicators for complications, and the interventions to address the complications.

2. The physiological effects of minimal sedation, the potential complications of administration, the indicators for complications, and the interventions to address the complications.

3. The use and maintenance of the equipment required in subsection D of this section.

B. No sedating medication shall be prescribed for administration to a patient 12 years of age or younger prior to the patient's arrival at the dental office or treatment facility.

C. Delegation of administration.

1. A qualified dentist may administer or use the services of the following personnel to administer minimal sedation:

a. A dentist;

b. An anesthesiologist;

c. A certified registered nurse anesthetist under medical the dentist's direction and indirect supervision;

d. A dental hygienist with the training required by 18VAC60-25-100 B only for administration of nitrous oxide/oxygen under indirect supervision; or

e. A registered nurse upon his direct instruction and under immediate supervision.

2. Preceding the administration of minimal sedation, a dentist may use the services of the following personnel working under indirect supervision to administer local anesthesia to numb an injection or treatment site:

a. A dental hygienist with the training required by 18VAC60-25-100 C to parenterally administer Schedule VI local anesthesia to persons 18 years of age or older; or

b. A dental hygienist, dental assistant, registered nurse, or licensed practical nurse to administer Schedule VI topical oral anesthetics.

D. Equipment requirements. A dentist who utilizes minimal sedation or who directs the administration by another licensed health professional as permitted in subsection C of this section shall maintain the following equipment in working order and immediately available to the areas where patients will be sedated and treated and will recover:

1. Blood pressure monitoring equipment;

2. Source of delivery of oxygen under controlled positive pressure;

3. Mechanical (hand) respiratory bag;

4. Suction apparatus; and

5. Pulse oximeter.

E. Required staffing. The treatment team for minimal sedation shall consist of the dentist and a second person in the operatory with the patient to assist the dentist and monitor the patient. The second person shall be a licensed health care professional or a person qualified in accordance with 18VAC60-21-260 I.

F. Monitoring requirements.

1. Baseline vital signs to include blood pressure, respiratory rate, heart rate, and oxygen saturation shall be taken and recorded prior to administration of sedation and prior to discharge.

2. Blood pressure, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, and pulse shall be monitored continually during the procedure unless extenuating circumstances exist and are documented in the patient's record.

3. Once the administration of minimal sedation has begun by any route of administration, the dentist shall ensure that a licensed health care professional or a person qualified in accordance with 18VAC60-21-260 I monitors the patient at all times until discharged as required in subsection G of this section.

4. Nitrous oxide/oxygen may be used with one other pharmacological agent in the recommended dosage for minimal sedation. If deeper levels of sedation are produced, the regulations for the induced level shall be followed. The administration of one drug in excess of the maximum recommended dose or of two or more drugs, with or without nitrous oxide, exceeds minimal sedation and requires compliance with the regulations for the level of sedation induced.

5. Monitoring shall include making the proper adjustments of nitrous oxide/oxygen machines at the request of or by the dentist or by another qualified licensed health professional identified in subsection C of this section. Only the dentist or another qualified licensed health professional identified in subsection C of this section may turn the nitrous oxide/oxygen machines on or off.

6. If any other pharmacological agent is used in addition to nitrous oxide/oxygen and a local anesthetic, requirements for the induced level of sedation must be met.

G. Discharge requirements.

1. The dentist shall not discharge a patient until he exhibits baseline responses in a post-operative evaluation of the level of consciousness. Vital signs, to include blood pressure, respiratory rate, heart rate, and oxygen saturation shall be taken and recorded prior to discharge unless extenuating circumstances exist and are documented in the patient's record.

2. Post-operative instructions shall be given verbally and in writing. The written instructions shall include a 24-hour emergency telephone number.

3. Pediatric patients shall be discharged with a responsible individual who has been instructed with regard to the patient's care.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 5, eff. December 2, 2015; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 10, 2017; Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. March 17, 2021.

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