Administrative Code

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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

18VAC60-21-291. Requirements for administration of moderate sedation.

A. Delegation of administration.

1. A dentist who does not hold a permit to provide or administer moderate sedation shall only utilize the services of a qualified dentist, an anesthesiologist, or a certified registered nurse anesthetist to administer such sedation in a dental office.

2. A dentist who holds a permit may administer or use the services of the following personnel to administer moderate sedation:

a. A dentist with the training required by 18VAC60-21-290 D to administer by any method and who holds a moderate sedation permit;

b. An anesthesiologist;

c. A certified registered nurse anesthetist under the direction and indirect supervision of a dentist who meets the training requirements of 18VAC60-21-290 D and holds a moderate sedation permit or under the supervision of a doctor of medicine or osteopathic medicine; or

d. A registered nurse upon the dentist's direct instruction and under the immediate supervision of a dentist who meets the training requirements of 18VAC60-21-290 D and holds a moderate sedation permit.

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

4. Preceding the administration of moderate sedation, a permitted dentist may use the services of the following personnel under indirect supervision to administer local anesthesia to anesthetize the 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.

5. A dentist who delegates administration of moderate sedation shall ensure that:

a. All equipment required in subsection B of this section is present, in good working order, and immediately available to the areas where patients will be sedated and treated and will recover; and

b. Qualified staff is on site to monitor patients in accordance with requirements of subsection D of this section.

B. Equipment requirements. A dentist who provides or administers or who utilizes a qualified anesthesia provider to administer moderate sedation shall have available the following equipment in sizes for adults or children as appropriate for the patient being treated and shall maintain it in working order and immediately available to the areas where patients will be sedated and treated and will recover:

1. Full face mask or masks;

2. Oral and nasopharyngeal airway management adjuncts;

3. Endotracheal tubes with appropriate connectors or other appropriate airway management adjunct such as a laryngeal mask airway;

4. A laryngoscope with reserve batteries and bulbs and appropriately sized laryngoscope blades;

5. Pulse oximetry;

6. Blood pressure monitoring equipment;

7. Pharmacologic antagonist agents;

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

9. Mechanical (hand) respiratory bag;

10. Appropriate emergency drugs for patient resuscitation;

11. Electrocardiographic monitor if a patient is receiving parenteral administration of sedation or if the dentist is using titration;

12. Defibrillator;

13. Suction apparatus;

14. Temperature measuring device;

15. Airway protective device;

16. Precordial or pretracheal stethoscope;

17. An end-tidal carbon dioxide monitor (capnograph); and

18. Equipment necessary to establish intravenous or intraosseous access.

C. Required staffing. At a minimum, there shall be a two-person treatment team for moderate sedation. The team shall include the operating dentist and a second person to monitor the patient as provided in 18VAC60-21-260 K, and assist the operating dentist as provided in 18VAC60-21-260 J, both of whom shall be in the operatory with the patient throughout the dental procedure. If the second person is a dentist, an anesthesiologist, or a certified registered nurse anesthetist who administers the drugs as permitted in subsection A of this section, such person may monitor the patient.

D. Monitoring requirements.

1. Baseline vital signs to include blood pressure, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, and heart rate shall be taken and recorded prior to administration of any controlled drug at the facility and prior to discharge.

2. Blood pressure, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, and end-tidal carbon dioxide shall be monitored continually during the administration and recorded unless precluded or invalidated by the nature of the patient, procedure, or equipment.

3. Monitoring of the patient under moderate sedation is to begin prior to administration of sedation or, if pre-medication is self-administered by the patient, immediately upon the patient's arrival at the dental facility and shall take place continuously during the dental procedure and recovery from sedation. The person who administers the sedation or another licensed practitioner qualified to administer the same level of sedation must remain on the premises of the dental facility until the patient is evaluated and is discharged.

E. Discharge requirements.

1. The patient shall not be discharged until the responsible licensed practitioner determines that the patient's level of consciousness, oxygenation, ventilation, and blood pressure and heart rate are satisfactory for discharge and vital signs have been taken and recorded.

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

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

4. If a separate recovery area is utilized, oxygen and suction equipment shall be immediately available in that area.

5. Since re-sedation may occur once the effects of the reversal agent have waned, the patient shall be monitored for a longer period than usual when a pharmacological reversal agent has been administered before discharge criteria have been met.

F. Emergency management. The dentist shall be proficient in handling emergencies and complications related to pain control procedures, including the maintenance of respiration and circulation, immediate establishment of an airway, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

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 19, eff. June 14, 2017; Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. March 17, 2021.

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