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September 24, 2009

State Files Stringent Dental Sedation Regulation
New rules will reduce risks for dental patients

CHICAGO – New dental sedation training for dentists and their staff will become mandatory if new rules, appearing in this week’s Illinois Register, are allowed by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).   The new regulations were developed after two Chicago area patients died after being sedated for dental treatment.

“The rules we filed aim to prevent the tragic outcomes that occurred in recent years,” said Brent Adams, Acting Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation. “We want to make sure dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants understand what is required of them during dental care.”

The Department’s proposed rule increases the amount of training needed by assistants and dental hygienists who assist in cases where a patient is sedated.  It also clarifies what monitoring equipment must be used and specifies monitoring procedures for the dental professionals involved in every case involving light and moderate sedation.  It also clearly defines a dentist’s responsibility to ensure that staff are appropriately trained and equipped to provide emergency patient care if needed.

“The new dental sedation rules will enhance the safety of Illinois dental patients who seek sedation during treatment,” said Daniel E. Bluthardt, Director, Division of Professional Regulation. “By clarifying what pre-treatment planning is needed and what staff training and monitoring is necessary, we should reduce the risk for patients treated under light or moderate sedation.”

Once a rule has been filed with the Secretary of State, there is a 45-day 1st Notice period, during which industry groups, advocates and other concerned members of the public may file comments or request a public hearing.  During the 2nd Notice period, also 45 days long, the rule, and any modifications or amendments, will be reviewed by JCAR. JCAR can request additional clarification or information from the Department that must be supplied during JCAR’s review.  At the end of that time, if JCAR takes no action, the rule becomes permanent and any further changes must be filed through a new rulemaking process.  In order to stop a rule from becoming permanent, 3/5 of panel must vote to overturn the rule.

The proposed rules, which will be published in the Illinois Register this week, are available at IDFPR.com.


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