AGD supports excellence in general dentistry and the pursuit of professional development through lifelong learning. We have developed policies that serve the needs and represent the interests of general dentists; promote oral health to the public; and foster continued proficiency of general dentistry in order to better serve the public.
The following policies serve to provide structure and consensus about the intended behaviors and actions AGD supports.
Anesthesiology and Sedation
Cost of providing benefit
The Academy of General Dentistry believes patients with physical, developmental, emotional, or medically compromising conditions may require sedation/general anesthesia in private office, hospital, or surgical center settings for the safe and effective treatment of dental disease and/or injury.
Sedation and/or general anesthesia and related facility costs for the treatment of dental disease and/or injury in these patients should be a covered benefit in all group medical benefit policies and Medicaid.
Oral Conscious Sedation, position statement
- The Academy of General dentistry believes that the general dentist must have access to appropriate training in the area of anxiolysis and oral conscious sedation. The AGD further believes that continuing education opportunities must continue to be developed to make these courses available to the general practitioner.
- “Anxiolysis” means removing, eliminating or decreasing anxiety. This may be accomplished by the use of medication that is administered in an amount consistent with the manufacturer’s current recommended dosage and/or judgment on the part of the clinician with or without nitrous oxide and oxygen. When the intent is anxiolysis only, the definition of enteral and/or combination inhalation-enteral conscious sedation (combined conscious sedation) does not apply.
- The Academy of General Dentistry supports the rights of the general dentist to use professional judgment in deciding the appropriate dose for each patient situation, respecting safe dosing parameters.
- The Academy of General Dentistry believes that each constituent should be in close contact with his or her licensing boards to communicate AGD’s position on this issue.
Levels of Sedation
Recognizing the importance of managing anxiety and pain in dental patients, the AGD believes general dentists should:
1. Have access to training in anxiety-reduction techniques that may or may not involve medications
2. Have access to training in all levels of sedation,
3. Have access to sedation certification as required by statute, and
4. Be able to practice any level of sedation for which they have been trained.
Nitrous oxide inhalation sedation
The Academy of General Dentistry supports the use of scavenging equipment for nitrous oxide.
Any additional regulation of nitrous oxide should be based on valid scientific documentation.
Adequate facilities for teaching
AGD Definition to define adequate teaching facilities for conscious sedation:
An area equipped with suction, monitoring equipment, emergency drugs, and equipment to deliver oxygen under positive pressure in relatively quiet and private surroundings.
Teaching of, at the undergraduate and CE levels
The Academy of General Dentistry supports the teaching of conscious sedation at the undergraduate and continuing education levels in dental schools and other adequate teaching facilities as defined by the AGD's Education Council.