Sunset Review: Anesthesia Rule Changes

Molly PereiraFeatured News

By Jennifer Goodrum, CDA Director of Government Relations
During fall 2014 and spring 2015, the Colorado Dental Board conducted rulemaking hearings in order to implement the dental sunset review bill. The State Board established four related rulemaking committees: anesthesia; CE and fining; licensure; lasers, dental hygiene prescribing and dental laboratories. Ten committee meetings were held through the fall, as well as five rulemaking sessions. These meetings were open for dentist participation, and the CDA encouraged member dentists to attend and provide input.

As previously shared with CDA members, the Colorado Dental Board adopted CE, fining, licensure, laser, dental hygiene prescribing and dental laboratory rule changes at its meeting in January 2015. Those rules took effect on March 30, 2015. 
In April 2015, the State Board held a final rulemaking hearing on anesthesia rule changes. The proposed rules were adopted with minimal editorial changes at the April meeting and took effect on June 30, 2015.
Primary changes to the anesthesia rule include new:
Restrictions on the use of certain drugs with a narrow margin for maintaining consciousness, except for dentists who have a deep sedation/general anesthesia permit.
Requirements for capnography (end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring) for all dentists administering moderate sedation or deep sedation/general anesthesia by July 1, 2016.
Office re-inspections for all dentists who renew a moderate sedation or deep sedation/general anesthesia permit.
CE requirements for any dentist who renews an anesthesia permit on or after March 1, 2016. Seventeen hours of anesthesia or sedation-specific CE from an approved CE provider must be documented to renew anesthesia permits on or after this date. The required 17 CE hours must be taken during the five years preceding the permit renewal date. Life-support courses, including BLS, ACLS and PALS, cannot be counted toward this requirement.
Pediatric designations on anesthesia permits, which will be required in addition to the base anesthesia permit for dentists providing minimal sedation, moderate sedation or deep sedation/general anesthesia to patients under 12 years old. Unless the dentist chooses to opt-out, dentists with current anesthesia permits will automatically receive a pediatric designation for one year. To maintain the pediatric designation after June 30, 2016, documentation of additional training and experience on pediatric patients will be required.
In coming months, the Colorado Dental Board plans to review all sections of the dental rules that were not addressed during the sunset review rulemaking, with particular focus on rules for infection control and recordkeeping. If you have suggestions on current dental rules, you may submit your comments directly to the Department of Regulatory Agencies at or to the CDA at or by fax to 303-740-7989.