State Board Adopts New Anesthesia Rule Effective March 30

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February 22, 2010

In January, the Colorado State Board of Dental Examiners (SBDE) voted to adopt new rules on the administration of anesthesia. This vote concludes a year of discussion and revision to the rule. The rule went through several iterations before final adoption, addressing a number of dentist concerns in the process.

Click here to view a copy of the final rule. Please note that the new rule language starts on page 15 of the linked document and ends on page 31.

The final rule will modify the approach to regulating anesthesia – focusing on the sedation level of the patient rather than the specific drugs or routes of administration. The new rule is based on an “anesthesia continuum” that ranges from local to general anesthesia. Requirements become more stringent as one progresses to deeper levels of sedation on the continuum. To view a summary of some of the requirements of the new rule, click here.

The CDA has been getting many questions recently on Automated External Defibrillator (AED) requirements. Under the new anesthesia rule, a dentist must have an AED on site if offering minimal sedation or above (moderate sedation, deep sedation or general anesthesia). Dentists offering only local anesthesia, analgesia and/or medications for the relief of anxiety are not required by the rule to have an AED onsite, although voluntary installation would be encouraged in all offices.

The SBDE has stated that new applications for anesthesia privileges or permits will be posted on its Website prior to the effective date of the new rule. Dentists and dental hygienists with current anesthesia permits will either be rolled over automatically into the new system once it becomes effective or will no longer be required to hold a permit or privilege, depending on the level of anesthesia they are offering. We will update CDA members as more information on this process becomes available.

The rule will be effective on March 30, 2010.