Commonwealth of Virginia



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Part IV. Anesthesia, Sedation and Analgesia.

18VAC60-20-107. General provisions.


A. This part (18 VAC 60-20-107 et seq.) shall not apply to:

1. The administration of local anesthesia in dental offices; or

2. The administration of anesthesia in (i) a licensed hospital as defined in § 32.1-123 of the Code of Virginia or state-operated hospitals or (ii) a facility directly maintained or operated by the federal government.

B. Appropriateness of administration of general anesthesia or sedation in a dental office.


1. Anesthesia and sedation may be provided in a dental office for patients who are Class I and II as classified by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
2. Conscious sedation, deep sedation or general anesthesia shall not be provided in a dental office for patients in ASA risk categories of Class IV and V.
3. Patients in ASA risk category Class III shall only be provided general anesthesia or any level of sedation by:
a. A dentist after he has documented a consultation with their primary care physician or other medical specialist regarding potential risk and special monitoring requirements that may be necessary; or
b. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon after performing an evaluation and documenting the ASA risk assessment category of the patient and any special monitoring requirements that may be necessary.
C. Prior to administration of any level of sedation or general anesthesia, the dentist shall discuss the nature and objectives of the anesthesia or sedation planned along with the risks, benefits and alternatives and shall obtain informed, written consent from the patient or other responsible party. The written consent shall be maintained in the patient record.
D. The determinant for the application of these rules shall be the degree of sedation or consciousness level of a patient that should reasonably be expected to result from the type and dosage of medication, the method of administration and the individual characteristics of the patient as documented in the patient's record. The drugs and techniques used must carry a margin of safety wide enough to render unlikely an unintended reduction of or loss of consciousness when factoring in titration and the patient's age, weight, and ability to metabolize drugs.
E. When conscious/moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia is administered, the dentist shall include in the patient record:
1. Notation of the patient's American Society of Anesthesiologists classification;
2. Review of medical history and current conditions;
3. Written informed consent for administration of sedation and anesthesia and for the dental treatment to be performed;
4. Preoperative vital signs;
5. A record of the name, dose, strength of drugs, and route of administration including the administration of local anesthetics with notations of the time sedation and anesthesia were administered;
6. Monitoring records of all required vital signs and physiological measures recorded every five minutes; and

7. A list of staff participating in the administration, treatment, and monitoring including name, position, and assigned duties.


F. Pediatric patients. No sedating medication shall be prescribed for or administered to a patient age 12 years or younger prior to his arrival at the dentist office or treatment facility.
G. Emergency management.
1. If a patient enters a deeper level of sedation than the dentist intended and was prepared to provide, the dentist shall stop the dental treatment until the patient returns to and is stable at the intended level of sedation.
2. A dentist in whose office sedation or anesthesia is administered shall have written basic emergency procedures established and staff trained to carry out such procedures.
H. Reporting of adverse reactions. A written report shall be submitted to the board by the treating dentist within 30 days following any mortality or morbidity that directly results from the administration of any level of sedation or anesthesia and that occurs in the facility or during the first 24 hours immediately following the patient's departure from the facility.
I. Continuing education. A dentist who administers or a dental hygienist who monitors patients under general anesthesia, deep sedation, or conscious/moderate sedation shall complete four hours every two years of approved continuing education directly related to administration or monitoring of such anesthesia or sedation as part of the hours required for licensure renewal as specified in 18VAC60-20-50.
J. A dentist who allows the administration of general anesthesia, deep sedation, or conscious/moderate sedation in his dental office is responsible for assuring that:
1. The equipment for administration and monitoring, as required in 18VAC60-20-110 F or 18VAC60-20-120 E, is readily available and in good working order prior to performing dental treatment with anesthesia or sedation. The equipment shall either be maintained by the dentist in his office or provided by the anesthesia or sedation provider; and
2. The person administering the anesthesia or sedation is appropriately licensed, and the staff monitoring the patient is qualified.

18VAC60-20-108. Administration of minimal sedation (anxiolysis or inhalation analgesia).


A. Education and training requirements. A dentist who utilizes anxiolysis or inhalation analgesia shall have training in and knowledge of:
1. Medications used, the appropriate dosages and the potential complications of administration.
2. Physiological effects of nitrous oxide and potential complications of administration.
B. Equipment requirements. A dentist who utilizes anxiolysis or inhalation analgesia or who directs the administration of inhalation analgesia by a dental hygienist shall maintain the following equipment in his office and be trained in its use:
1. Blood pressure monitoring equipment.
2. Positive pressure oxygen.
3. Mechanical (hand) respiratory bag.
C. Monitoring requirements.
1. The treatment team for anxiolysis shall consist of the dentist and a second person in the operatory with the patient to assist, monitor and observe the patient. Once the administration of anxiolysis has begun, the dentist shall ensure that a person qualified in accordance with 18VAC60-20-135 is present with the patient at all times to determine the level of consciousness by continuous visual monitoring of the patient.
2. A dentist or a dental hygienist who utilizes inhalation analgesia shall ensure that there is continuous visual monitoring of the patient to determine the level of consciousness.
3. If inhalation analgesia is used, monitoring shall include making the proper adjustments of nitrous oxide machines at the request of or by the dentist or a dental hygienist qualified in accordance with requirements of 18VAC60-20-81 to administer nitrous oxide during administration of the sedation and observing the patient's vital signs.
4. 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.
D. Discharge requirement. The dentist shall ensure that the patient is not discharged to his own care until he exhibits normal responses.

18VAC60-20-110. Requirements for the administration of deep sedation/general anesthesia.


A. After March 31, 2013, no dentist may administer deep sedation/general anesthesia in a dental office unless he has been issued a permit by the board. The requirement for a permit shall not apply to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who maintains membership in the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) and who provides the board with reports that result from the periodic office examinations required by AAOMS. Such an oral and maxillofacial surgeon shall be required to post a certificate issued by AAOMS.
B. To determine eligibility for a deep sedation/general anesthesia permit, a dentist shall submit the following:
1. A completed application form;
2. The application fee as specified in 18VAC60-20-30;
3. A copy of the certificate of completion of a CODA accredited program or other documentation of training content that meets the educational and training qualifications specified in subsection C of this section; and
4. A copy of current certification in ACLS or PALS as required in subsection C of this section.
C. Educational and training qualifications for a deep sedation/general anesthesia permit.
1. A dentist may be issued a permit to use deep sedation/general anesthesia in a dental office by meeting one of the following educational criteria. These requirements shall not apply or interfere with requirements for obtaining hospital staff privileges.
a. Completion of a minimum of one calendar year of advanced training in anesthesiology and related academic subjects beyond the undergraduate dental school level in a training program in conformity with published guidelines by the American Dental Association (Guidelines for Teaching the Comprehensive Control of Anxiety and Pain in Dentistry) in effect at the time the training occurred; or
b. Completion of a CODA accredited residency in any dental specialty which incorporates into its curriculum a minimum of one calendar year of full-time training in clinical anesthesia and related clinical medical subjects (i.e., medical evaluation and management of patients), comparable to those set forth in published guidelines by the American Dental Association for Graduate and Postgraduate Training in Anesthesia in effect at the time the training occurred.
2. Dentists who administer deep sedation/general anesthesia shall hold current certification in advanced resuscitative techniques with hands-on simulated airway and megacode training for health care providers, including basic electrocardiographic interpretation, such as courses in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) for Health Professionals or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) for Health Professionals and current Drug Enforcement Administration registration.
D. Posting. The deep sedation/general anesthesia permit or AAOMS certificate required under subsection A of this section shall be posted along with the dental license and registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration. All licenses and permits must be current.
E. Delegation of administration.
1. A dentist who does not hold a permit to administer deep sedation and general anesthesia shall only use the services of a dentist with a current deep sedation/general anesthesia permit or an anesthesiologist to administer deep sedation or general anesthesia in a dental office. In a licensed outpatient surgery center, a dentist not qualified who does not hold a permit to administer deep sedation or general anesthesia shall use either a permitted dentist, an anesthesiologist, or a certified registered nurse anesthetist to administer deep sedation or general anesthesia.
2. A dentist who does hold a permit may administer or use the services of the following personnel to administer deep sedation or general anesthesia:
a. A dentist with a current deep sedation/anesthesia permit;
b. An anesthesiologist; or
c. A certified registered nurse anesthetist under the medical direction and indirect supervision of a dentist who meets the educational requirements of subsection C of this section.
3. Preceding the administration of deep sedation or general anesthesia, 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 in 18VAC60-20-81 to parenterally administer Schedule VI local anesthesia to persons age 18 years or older; or
b. A dental hygienist, dental assistant, registered nurse, or licensed practical nurse to administer Schedule VI topical oral anesthetics.
4. A dentist who delegates administration of deep sedation/general anesthesia shall ensure that:
a. All equipment required in subsection F 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 G of this section.
F. Required equipment and techniques. A dentist who administers deep sedation/general anesthesia shall be proficient in handling emergencies and complications related to pain control procedures, including the maintenance of respiration and circulation and immediate establishment of an airway and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He 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 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 for children or adults, or both;
5. Source of delivery of oxygen under controlled positive pressure;
6. Mechanical (hand) respiratory bag;
7. Pulse oximetry and blood pressure monitoring equipment available and used in the treatment room;
8. Appropriate emergency drugs for patient resuscitation;
9. EKG monitoring equipment and temperature measuring devices;
10. Pharmacologic antagonist agents;
11. External defibrillator (manual or automatic);
12. For intubated patients, an End-Tidal CO² monitor;
13. Suction apparatus;
14. Throat pack; and
15. Precordial or pretracheal stethoscope.
G. Monitoring requirements.
1. The treatment team for deep sedation/general anesthesia shall at least consist of the operating dentist, a second person to monitor and observe the patient and a third person to assist the operating dentist, all of whom shall be in the operatory with the patient during the dental treatment. The second person may be the health professional delegated to administer sedation or anesthesia.
2. Monitoring of the patient undergoing deep sedation/general anesthesia, including direct, visual observation of the patient by one member of the treatment team, is to begin prior to induction and shall take place continuously following induction, during the dental procedure, and during recovery from anesthesia. The person who administered 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.
3. Monitoring deep sedation/general anesthesia shall include the following:
a. EKG readings and 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, and respiration. The EKG readings and patient's vital signs shall be monitored, recorded every five minutes, and reported to the treating dentist throughout the administration of controlled drugs and recovery. When depolarizing medications are administered, temperature shall be monitored constantly.
b. A secured intravenous line must be established during induction and maintained through recovery.
H. 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 circulation are satisfactory for discharge and vital signs have been taken and recorded.
2. Postoperative instructions shall be given verbally and in writing. The written instructions shall include a 24-hour emergency telephone number for the dental practice.
3. The patient shall be discharged with a responsible individual who has been instructed with regard to the patient's care.

18VAC60-20-120. Requirements for administration of conscious/moderate sedation.

A. After March 31, 2013, no dentist may administer conscious/moderate sedation in a dental office unless he has been issued a permit by the board. The requirement for a permit shall not apply to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who maintains membership in the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) and who provides the board with reports that result from the periodic office examinations required by AAOMS. Such an oral and maxillofacial surgeon shall be required to post a certificate issued by AAOMS.


B. Automatic qualification. Dentists who hold a current permit to administer deep sedation/general anesthesia may administer conscious/moderate sedation.
C. To determine eligibility for a conscious/moderate sedation permit, a dentist shall submit the following:
1. A completed application form indicating one of the following permits for which the applicant is qualified:
a. Conscious/moderate sedation by any method;
b. Conscious/moderate sedation by enteral administration only; or
c. Temporary conscious/moderate sedation permit (may be renewed one time);
2. The application fee as specified in 18VAC60-20-30;
3. A copy of a transcript, certification, or other documentation of training content that meets the educational and training qualifications as specified in subsection D or E of this section, as applicable; and
4. A copy of current certification in ACLS or PALS as required in subsection F of this section.
D. Educational requirements for a permit to administer conscious/moderate sedation by any method.
1. A dentist may be issued a conscious/moderate sedation permit to employ or use any method of conscious/moderate sedation by meeting one of the following criteria:
a. Completion of training for this treatment modality according to guidelines published by the American Dental Association (Guidelines for Teaching the Comprehensive Control of Anxiety and Pain in Dentistry) in effect at the time the training occurred, while enrolled at an accredited dental program or while enrolled in a post-doctoral university or teaching hospital program; or
b. Completion of a continuing education course offered by a provider approved in 18VAC60-20-50 and consisting of 60 hours of didactic instruction plus the management of at least 20 patients per participant, demonstrating competency and clinical experience in parenteral conscious sedation and management of a compromised airway. The course content shall be consistent with guidelines published by the American Dental Association (Guidelines for Teaching the Comprehensive Control of Anxiety and Pain in Dentistry) in effect at the time the training occurred.
2. A dentist who was self-certified in anesthesia and conscious/moderate sedation prior to January 1989 may be issued a temporary conscious/moderate sedation permit to continue to administer only conscious/moderate sedation until May 7, 2015. After May 7, 2015, a dentist shall meet the requirements for and obtain a conscious/moderate sedation permit by any method or by enteral administration only.
E. Educational requirement for enteral administration of conscious/moderate sedation only. A dentist may be issued a conscious/moderate sedation permit to only administer conscious/moderate sedation by an enteral method if he has completed a continuing education program, offered by a provider approved in 18VAC60-20-50, of not less than 18 hours of didactic instruction plus 20 clinically-oriented experiences in enteral and/or combination inhalation-enteral conscious/moderate sedation techniques. The course content shall be consistent with the guidelines published by the American Dental Association (Guidelines for Teaching the Comprehensive Control of Anxiety and Pain in Dentistry) in effect at the time the training occurred. The certificate of completion and a detailed description of the course content must be maintained.
F. Additional training required. Dentists who administer conscious/moderate sedation shall hold current certification in advanced resuscitation techniques with hands-on simulated airway and megacode training for health care providers, including basic electrocardiographic interpretation, such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) for Health Professionals or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) for Health Professionals, and current registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
G. Posting. The conscious/moderate sedation permit required under subsection A of this section and issued in accordance with subsection C of this section or the AAOMS certificate issued to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon shall be posted along with the dental license and registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration. All licenses and permits must be current.
H. Delegation of administration.
1. A dentist who does not hold a permit to administer conscious/moderate sedation shall only use the services of a permitted dentist or an anesthesiologist to administer such sedation in a dental office. In a licensed outpatient surgery center, a dentist who does not hold a permit to administer conscious/moderate sedation shall use either a permitted dentist, an anesthesiologist, or a certified registered nurse anesthetist to administer such sedation.
2. A dentist who holds a permit may administer or use the services of the following personnel to administer conscious/moderate sedation:
a. A dentist with the training required by subsection E of this section to administer by an enteral method;
b. A dentist with the training required by subsection D of this section to administer by any method;
c. An anesthesiologist;
d. A certified registered nurse anesthetist under the medical direction and indirect supervision of a dentist who meets the education and training requirements of subsection D or E of this section; or
e. A registered nurse upon his direct instruction and under the immediate supervision of a dentist who meets the education and training requirements of subsection D of this section.
3. If minimal sedation is self-administered by or to a patient age 13 years or older before arrival at the dental office, the dentist may only use the personnel listed in subdivision 2 of this subsection to administer local anesthesia. No sedating medication shall be prescribed for or administered to a patient age 12 years or younger prior to his arrival at the dentist office or treatment facility.
4. Preceding the administration of conscious/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 18VAC60-20-81 to parenterally administer Schedule VI local anesthesia to persons age 18 years 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 conscious/moderate sedation shall ensure that:
a. All equipment required in subsection I 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 J of this section.
I. Required equipment and techniques. A dentist who administers conscious/moderate sedation 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, and 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 masks;
2. Oral and nasopharyngeal airway management adjuncts;
3. Endotracheal tubes for children or adults, or both, with appropriate connectors or other appropriate airway management adjunct such as a laryngeal mask airway and a laryngoscope with reserve batteries and bulbs and appropriately sized laryngoscope blades for children or adults, or both;
4. Pulse oximetry;
5. Blood pressure monitoring equipment;
6. Pharmacologic antagonist agents;
7. Source of delivery of oxygen under controlled positive pressure;
8. Mechanical (hand) respiratory bag;
9. Appropriate emergency drugs for patient resuscitation;
10. Defibrillator;
11. Suction apparatus;
12. Temperature measuring device;
13. Throat pack;
14. Precordial or pretracheal stethoscope; and
15. Electrocardiographic monitor, if a patient is receiving parenteral administration of sedation or if the dentist is using titration.
J. Monitoring requirements.
1. The treatment team for conscious/moderate sedation shall at least consist of the operating dentist and a second person to assist, monitor, and observe the patient. Both shall be in the operatory with the patient throughout the dental treatment. The second person may be the health professional delegated to administer sedation.
2. Monitoring of the patient undergoing conscious/moderate sedation, including direct, visual observation of the patient by a one member of the treatment team, is to begin prior to administration of sedation, or if medication is self-administered by the patient, immediately upon the patient's arrival at the dental office and shall take place continuously during the dental treatment and during 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.
3. Monitoring conscious/moderate sedation shall include the following:
a. Baseline vital signs shall be taken and recorded prior to administration of any controlled drug at the facility and prior to discharge; and
b. Blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and pulse shall be monitored continually during the administration and recorded every five minutes.
K. 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 circulation are satisfactory for discharge and vital signs have been taken and recorded.
2. Postoperative instructions shall be given verbally and in writing. The written instructions shall include a 24-hour emergency telephone number of the dental practice.
3. The patient shall be discharged with a responsible individual who has been instructed with regard to the patient's care.

18VAC60-20-130. (Repealed.)

18VAC60-20-135. Personnel assisting in sedation or anesthesia.


Dentists who employ personnel to assist in the administration and monitoring of any form of conscious/moderate sedation or deep sedation/general anesthesia shall maintain documentation that such personnel have:
1. Minimal training resulting in current certification in basic resuscitation techniques with hands-on airway training for health care providers, such as Basic Cardiac Life Support for Health Professionals or a clinically oriented course devoted primarily to responding to clinical emergencies offered by an approved provider of continuing education as set forth in 18VAC60-20-50 C; or
2. Current certification as a certified anesthesia assistant (CAA) by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons or the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology (ADSA).

18VAC60-20-140. (Repealed.)

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