Illinois: Oral Sedation Dentistry Regulations

Illinois Board of Dentistry Rule §1220.500 defines "Minimal Sedation" as a minimally depressed level of consciousness, produced by a pharmacological method, that retains the patient's ability to independently and continually maintain an airway and respond normally to tactile stimulation and verbal command. Although cognitive function and coordination may be modestly impaired, ventilatory and cardiovascular functions are unaffected."

What this means to you: For the first time, Illinois dentists - without an IV permit - can provide their fearful patients with minimal sedation using individualized (e.g. incremental) dosing of oral sedatives so long as the patient's reasonably expected level of consciousness does not exceed the new definition of "Minimal Sedation."

American Dental Association sedation guidelines provide that a dentist should complete at least 16 hours of instructive classroom training with clinically-oriented experiences before providing healthy patients with minimal sedation using oral sedatives.* 

Find available training courses.

*Illinois State Board of Dentistry Rule §1220.505 does not require formal training before dentists provide minimal sedation.

Effective May 5, 2010: Illinois State Board of Dentistry Rule § 1220.245(c)(2)(A) requires dental assistants monitoring minimally sedated patients to be certified in at least twelve (12) combined hours of classroom and clinical instruction in “anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, monitoring, and emergency procedures with an emphasis on airway management.”**

**Dental assistants with a nitrous monitoring certificate must still be certified in at least six (6) additional hours of advanced airway management and monitoring equipment. Dental hygienists with a nitrous certificate do not require additional training.

Illinois: Pediatric Sedation Dentistry Regulations

Sedation dentistry for children is a unique science and requires pediatric-specific training. The standard of care for providing pediatric sedation requires several hours of instructive classroom training with clinically-oriented experiences. Learn more about Pediatric Sedation Training Courses availabe nationwide.

Illinois: IV Sedation Regulations

Most states require dentists to complete a 60-hour didactic course followed by 20 actual clinical patient cases of IV administration plus a permit in order to provide their patients with IV sedation. Find an IV Sedation Training course

Why Do Sedation Dentistry?

An estimated 100 million people nationwide (nearly 30% of the population) need dental care but are too fearful to act. Access to care for these patients is limited, but now you can help.

The ability to practice sedation dental care gives you many advantages, not the least of which is treating a more comfortable patient. Other advantages include performing more dentistry in a single visit instead of repeat visits; extensive restorative cases from patients who were previously reluctant due to anxiety; and patients feeling little-to-no post-operative discomfort regardless of the procedure, resulting in more referrals.

And for your patients, providing sedation means even more: A comfortable experience often with no recollection of the visit or the time passed. It is often to hear of patients who call their dentist the next day, not to complain, but to express their gratitude and delight in their first ever fear-free visit to the dentist.

DOCS Education Membership provides direct access to a full-time Regulatory Counsel for assistance in complying with your state’s training requirements, equipment needs, permitting, inspections, patient complaints, and advertising rules. Join our expansive community of dentists.


DOCS Education Regulatory Counsel

J. Kathleen “Kate” Marcus, J.D.

Kate Marcus

As our DOCS Education Regulatory Counsel, Kate is uniquely qualified to advise and advocate for sedation dentistry. She draws on a healthcare law background that started from her first big court case right out of law school, over three decades ago. A 1988 graduate of Temple University School of Law, she was Research Editor of the Temple Law Review; she previously attended Bennington College, and has a B.A. in Philosophy.

As DOCS’ Regulatory Counsel, Kate can help sedation dentists understand their permits so they can provide safe sedation dentistry and stay in compliance. She believes an adversarial approach is rarely productive; the point is to avoid conflict and avoid litigation.

Kate is Pennsylvania licensed, with extensive experience in civil and criminal litigation at the state and federal levels. Her specialties include compliance, healthcare law, contract negotiation, contract drafting, commercial litigation, small business, health insurance and regulation, and URAC; she has demonstrated excellence in persuasive writing and editing, public speaking, and compliance (EEOC, HIPAA, HITECH, Title IX).



In her transition from a litigator to a healthcare lawyer, Kate found the “trauma informed” was of appeal. She realized the importance of understanding the anxiety patients may bring to an appointment. Many people seeking sedation are afraid; the Dentist needs to approach each patient with the understanding that they are coming with trauma and respect that. Kate would love to be able to talk with DOCS members more about trauma and how to have the most productive relationship with their patients.



The nexus of science and civil rights, including helping people get access to compassionate healthcare, fascinates Kate. She has a long history of representing distressed populations, including people in abusive relationships, children in foster care, people with HIV, and others — inside the courtroom and out. She has a passion to find funding for kids in foster care who don’t have sedation coverage, and work with dentists willing to treat autistic kids, with skill and compassion. She would love to see pro-bono dental service to survival shelters. Kate truly has a heart to advocate for those with special needs.


Kate values openness and availability to boards and DOCS members. She believes in being reasonable and seeking consensus on evidence-based solutions that work for everyone.