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

18VAC60-21-301. Requirements for administration of deep sedation or general anesthesia.

A. Preoperative requirements. Prior to the appointment for treatment under deep sedation or general anesthesia the patient shall:

1. Be informed about the personnel and procedures used to deliver the sedative or anesthetic drugs to assure informed consent as required by 18VAC60-21-260 F.

2. Have a physical evaluation as required by 18VAC60-21-260 C.

3. Be given preoperative verbal and written instructions including any dietary or medication restrictions.

B. Delegation of administration.

1. A dentist who does not meet the requirements of 18VAC60-21-300 shall only utilize the services of a dentist who does meet those requirements or an anesthesiologist to administer deep sedation or general anesthesia in a dental office. In a licensed outpatient surgery center, a dentist shall utilize either a dentist who meets the requirements of 18VAC60-21-300, an anesthesiologist, or a certified registered nurse anesthetist to administer deep sedation or general anesthesia.

2. A dentist who meets the requirements of 18VAC60-21-300 may administer or utilize the services of the following personnel to administer deep sedation or general anesthesia:

a. A dentist with the training required by 18VAC60-21-300 C;

b. An anesthesiologist; or

c. A certified registered nurse anesthetist under the direction and indirect supervision of a dentist who meets the training requirements of 18VAC60-21-300 C or under the supervision of a doctor of medicine or osteopathic medicine.

3. Preceding the administration of deep sedation or general anesthesia, a dentist who meets the requirements of 18VAC60-21-300 may utilize 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.

C. Equipment requirements. A dentist who administers or utilizes the services of a qualified anesthesia provider to administer deep sedation or general anesthesia shall have available the following equipment in sizes 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. Source of delivery of oxygen under controlled positive pressure;

6. Mechanical (hand) respiratory bag;

7. Pulse oximetry ;

8. Blood pressure monitoring equipment;

9. Appropriate emergency drugs for patient resuscitation;

10. EKG monitoring equipment;

11. Temperature measuring devices;

12. Pharmacologic antagonist agents;

13. External defibrillator (manual or automatic);

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

15. Suction apparatus;

16. Airway protective device;

17. Precordial or pretracheal stethoscope; and

18. Equipment necessary to establish intravenous or intraosseous access.

D. Required staffing. At a minimum, there shall be a three-person treatment team for deep sedation or general anesthesia. The team shall include the operating dentist, a second person to monitor the patient as provided in 18VAC60-21-260 K, and a third person to assist the operating dentist as provided in 18VAC60-21-260 J, all of whom shall be in the operatory with the patient during the dental procedure. If a second dentist, an anesthesiologist, or a certified registered nurse anesthetist administers the drugs as permitted in subsection B of this section, such person may serve as the second person to monitor the patient.

E. Monitoring requirements.

1. Baseline vital signs shall be taken and recorded prior to administration of any controlled drug at the facility to include temperature, blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation, EKG, and respiration.

2. The patient's vital signs, end-tidal carbon dioxide (unless precluded or invalidated by the nature of the patient, procedure, or equipment), EKG readings, blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation, temperature, and respiratory rate shall be monitored continually; recorded every five minutes; and reported to the treating dentist throughout the administration of controlled drugs and recovery. When a depolarizing medication or inhalation agent other than nitrous oxide is administered, temperature shall be monitored continuously.

3. Monitoring of the patient undergoing deep sedation or general anesthesia is to begin prior to the administration of any drugs and shall take place continually during administration, the dental procedure, and recovery from anesthesia. The person who administers the anesthesia or another licensed practitioner qualified to administer the same level of anesthesia must remain on the premises of the dental facility until the patient has regained consciousness and is discharged.

F. Emergency management.

1. A secured intravenous line must be established and maintained throughout the procedure.

2. 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.

G. Discharge requirements.

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

2. The patient shall not be discharged until the responsible licensed practitioner determines that the patient's level of consciousness, oxygenation, ventilation, circulation blood pressure, and heart rate are satisfactory and vital signs have been assessed and recorded, unless extenuating circumstances exist and are documented in the patient's record.

3. 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 before discharge if a pharmacological reversal agent has been administered before discharge criteria have been met.

4. Post-operative instructions shall be given verbally and in writing. The written instructions shall include a 24-hour emergency telephone number for the dental practice.

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

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