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Sedation in the Dental Office: An Overview

Course Number: 464

Minimal Sedation (Anxiolysis)

Minimal sedation is a state of minimally depressed level of consciousness produced by a pharmacologic method that retains the patient’s ability to independently and continuously maintain an airway and respond normally to tactile stimulation and verbal commands. Although cognitive function may be modestly impaired, ventilatory and cardiovascular functions are unaffected. Minimal sedation may be achieved with an oral sedative alone or in combination with nitrous oxide/oxygen.

  • Educational Requirements for Minimal Sedation In addition to Basic Life Support (BLS) or Health Care Provider (HCP) certification, the dentist must have completed a 14-hour course in nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation technique, including clinical competency. This course is usually completed as part of the dental school curriculum. The use of enteral and/or combined enteral/nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation requires an additional 16 hours of didactic instructions including clinically oriented experience.