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FAQ on Conscious Sedation

Conscious sedation is defined as drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients are able to respond purposefully to verbal commands or light tactile stimulation. Interventions to maintain a patent airway, spontaneous ventilation or cardiovascular function may, in exceptional circumstances, be required. Conscious sedation may be achieved by a wide variety of drugs including Propofol, and may accompany local anaesthesia. All conscious sedation techniques should provide a margin of safety that is wide enough to render loss of consciousness unlikely.

Yes. Your qualifications will be assessed by an advisory panel of the Board for equivalence.

If in the Board’s opinion your qualification is substantially equivalent to, or based on similar competencies to, an approved qualification and if you meet the other requirements for applying for endorsement as described in the Registration Standard, the Board may endorse your registration as a dentist.

The Board will let you know what action you may need to take. This could include further education, training and / or period of supervised practice.

When you apply for renewal of your registration you need to send a certified copy of the certificate from your refresher program. Post it to your local AHPRA state office. It will be linked to your renewal application. You need to do this even if you are completing an online renewal application.

No. You do not need to be endorsed to administer relative analgesia using nitrous oxide/oxygen on its own or in combination with local anaesthetic as long as the state of conscious sedation is not achieved. However, if you wish to induce a level of conscious sedation in a patient you must be endorsed by the Board prior to doing so (and meet the requirements set out in the Registration Standard).

No. They do not have the prescribing authority required under state and territory drugs and poisons legislation to do so even if they may have been trained to do so.

The dentist is the practitioner with the prescribing authority to administer the nitrous oxide. He/she is therefore accountable for the effects of the scheduled medicine on the patient. The Board does not provide specific advice on how workplaces structure the delivery of their dental services, however the dentist would need to assure himself/herself that she/he can maintain this accountability at all times regardless of who is providing the dental treatment.

Yes. You need to be endorsed prior to administering any medication leading to conscious sedation, regardless of the route or the medicine used. The Registration Standard clearly indicates what all endorsed dentists need to do when administering sedation by the intravenous route.

Page reviewed 27/10/2015