The ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure published new sedation guidelines in an effort to provide direction for teaching of initial pediatric pain control, as well as minimal and moderate sedation.
“Serving as a resource for educators, [the teaching guidelines] can be applied at all levels of dental education from predoctoral education through postgraduate residency training and continuing education for practicing dentists,” said Jacqueline Plemons, D.D.S., CDEL chair.
The Guidelines for Teaching Pediatric Pain Control and Sedation to Dentists and Dental Students, published in June, is designed to complement the ADA-endorsed guidelines by American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for monitoring and managing pediatric patients before, during and after sedation.
According to the teaching guidelines, dental students should acquire the knowledge and skills to administer local anesthesia and nitrous oxide inhalation sedation to adult and pediatric patients effectively and safely.
The definition of a pediatric patient as it relates to pain control and sedation is dependent on age, size, circumstance and intent, according to CDEL. Various regulatory agencies identify a threshold of ages 10-13 years old for pediatric patients in areas such as medication dosage guides, research, training parameters and privacy concerns. In regard to sedation in dentistry, the council wrote, sedation of pediatric patients is different from sedation of adults and may pose a higher risk.
The goals, prerequisites, didactic content, clinical experiences, faculty and facilities described in the teaching guidelines are intended to guide dental educators in planning their curricula and continuing education courses. The curricula should be taught by trained faculty, who are experienced in all pharmacological modalities, and can help create familiarity with the indications for different therapies, including analgesic medications, local anesthesia, sedation and general anesthesia.
“Ultimately, the guidelines will help dentists in providing pain control, and minimal and moderate sedation for pediatric patients, and will enhance their ability to provide treatment in a safe and effective manner while helping to ensure this care remains accessible,” Dr. Plemons said.
To read the new teaching guidelines, visit ADA.org.