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Minimal Dental Sedation--New State Regulations-Pt. 1

Posted Mar 27 2010 12:32pm

The State of Illinois has just adapted new guidelines on dental sedation. For the most part, they mirror the guidelines on dental sedation set forth by the American Dental Society about a year ago and change the educational requirements and even definitions e used describing dental office sedation.
Let’s look at the first pertinent definition-minimal sedation. According to the state’s new published guidelines
“Minimal Sedation “or "Anxiolysis or Mood Altering Sedation" means a
Pharmacologically induced, altered state of consciousness (altered mood; reduced
anxiety) where an individual is awake but has decreased anxiety to facilitate
coping skills, retaining interaction ability.”

A general dentist may do minimal dental sedation, but only with extra education, staff training, and monitoring equipment.
Let’s look at the elements of the definition. First “minimal sedation” means that the effect is minimal. Gas nitrous oxide or sedative pills are used. Onset of these agents is 30 to 60 with pills, although incremental dosing is now permitted (April 2010). (Please be aware that if a person requires more sedation it will take this 30-60 min. time for effect!). “Anxiolysis” from Latin literally means the “dissolving of anxiety.”
The definition of minimal sedation also states that the “an individual is awake but has decreased anxiety.” This means that the person is aware at all times, but usually has less anxiety.
If a patient goes to a dentist who promises “pill sedation” it is minimal sedation. They may have decreased of no memory of the procedure, but by legal definition of their limitations, will be aware during the procedure. Nowhere is the definitions is “painless dental visit” or “painless dentistry” mentioned.
The next level of dental sedation is moderate sedation—see next blog or our website for information on dental sedation options , methods, and associated technology for dental comfort.

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