Purpose: The purpose of this study was to survey 50 state dental boards concerning their regulations governing the practice of moderate sedation administered by the oral route.
Methods: An online search was conducted to review each state's dental practice act. When interpretation of the information provided online was difficult, clarification was achieved by contacting that state board directly by telephone interview. To assist in further interpretation, the ADA's Statutory Guidelines for Conscious Sedation Permit were reviewed for comparison with the data collected.
Results: Forty-one states required a permit to administer moderate sedation by the oral route. Every state except Kansas required minimum didactic educational requirements for permit issuance. Every state required monitoring of the patient throughout the procedure and during recovery until discharge. In addition, all states expected the practitioner and clinical staff to be adequately trained to manage a sedation-related emergency.
Conclusions: State dental boards have significantly increased regulation of oral sedation over the past 10 years, but vary widely in their permit requirements for issuance. This dis-harmony among the states should foster the national desire to develop a more unified approach in regulating oral sedation.