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For over 160 years dentists have utilized pain management approaches to enable their patients to receive needed dental services. Approaches to pain management in dentistry include both psychological and pharmacological techniques that are used to modify anxiety and pain in the dental patient.

In-office sedation has proven a useful and cost-effective means to assist patients such as children, those afraid of the dentist, the behaviorally or medically challenged, as well as those with gagging problems, so these patients can receive dental care. Under Additional Resources, the Sedation—Anesthesia Records are examples to assist dentists using sedation/general anesthesia in their offices. Many different record forms are available. These examples (one blank and one filled-in) were made available with permission from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and complements the ADA Guidelines for the Use of Sedation and General Anesthesia by Dentists (PDF).

The use of sedation and/or anesthesia is a heavily regulated area of dentistry. Beyond appropriate education and training for the administering dentist, anesthesia/sedation regulations also commonly address requirements for safety equipment and auxiliary personnel. The American Dental Association has developed both guidelines for teaching and guidelines for the use of conscious sedation, deep sedation and general anesthesia. These guidelines serve as a recommendation for state laws and regulations addressing dentists' administration of anesthesia and sedation.

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For additional information, please contact:

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Washington, DC 20005
Fax: 202.898.2437
Email: govtpol@ada.org 
  State Government Affairs
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Chicago, IL 60611
Fax: 312.440.3539
Email: govtpol@ada.org