New Anesthesia Rule Revision Announced – Comments due to State Board by Sept. 30

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Sept. 22, 2009

In May, the Colorado State Board of Dental Examiners (SBDE) proposed a new rule on the administration of anesthesia in an attempt to better define and clarify the permit structure. Numerous dentists and patients expressed concerns about the original rule proposal at a public hearing on July 9.

In response to these concerns, the SBDE committees responsible for the draft made a number of revisions to the proposal. The most recent rule revision, issued this month, addresses many of the comments and concerns previously conveyed by CDA members.

Most notably, the original rule proposal reduced the current four anesthesia permit levels to only two permit levels. Many expressed concern that the training and facilities requirements associated with the proposed permit structure would have limited patient access to needed anesthesia services. In response, the Board has expanded the two permit levels (Level I, Level II) in the previous rule draft to three permit levels (minimal sedation, moderate sedation and deep sedation/general anesthesia) in the most recent draft. Distinct training requirements have been established for each of the three permit levels. The training for the minimal sedation permit has been reduced to 16 hours with no observed cases or onsite inspection required. Facility, equipment and documentation requirements are now itemized by permit level.

There is also a new Section M, which outlines provisions for the reinstatement of lapsed anesthesia permits. A dentist may not be required to obtain new classroom hours if they can demonstrate continued competency.

The CDA has heard only one objection to the new rule revision, pertaining to the EKG monitoring requirement for moderate sedation.

To view a copy of the most recent rule revision, please click here.

Written comments on this revised rule are due by 5 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2009. Comments may be submitted to the State Board at or to 1560 Broadway, Ste. 1350, Denver, CO 80202. A public hearing on the rule is scheduled for Oct. 21, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. at 1560 Broadway, Ste. 1380, Denver, CO 80202.