7-Step Sedation Dentistry Safety Checklist

The 7-Step Sedation Dentistry Safety Checklist is designed to ensure patient safety as well as anxiety-free, effective dental appointments.

Print & Go Guidance


By DOCS Writing Staff

A Review of Protocols, Equipment, and Supplies

The 7-Step Sedation Dentistry Safety Checklist, exclusive to DOCS Education, is meant to remind dental professionals of the simple measures they can promptly implement to ensure patients are provided with safe, relaxing, and effective dental appointments. By regularly refreshing your sedation knowledge and skills, you ensure the most up-to-date protocols are applied by your entire staff, allowing patients and staff to have a positive experience. 

While dentists should first and foremost comply with their most current state sedation regulations, as well as the protocols taught by accredited continuing education providers, we'll discuss 7 key steps for reviewing sedation protocols, equipment, and supplies. 

1. CHECK all your monitoring and emergency equipment this week to make sure that they are up to code and in working order, including your pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, capnograph, automated external defibrillator, and supplemental oxygen delivery system.

2. NOTE the expiration dates of all your oral sedation medications, emergency drug kit medications, AED pads, and AED battery. Maintain weekly checks and documentation of the oxygen levels in your emergency tanks. Place orders this week for any items within 90 days of expiration and restore emergency oxygen tanks to full pressure.

3. CONFIRM your office is equipped with an intraosseous infusion system to help you run an IV line in an emergency. This is especially important if you do not have IV certification or are required to have equipment. This equipment provides immediate vascular access for delivering emergency life-savings drugs. Review procedures for using the system. 

4. RUN an emergency drill this week and schedule routine practice drills for the months ahead. This is a team-wide effort, and everyone should participate. Review the locations of all emergency drugs and equipment and make sure they are easily accessible. 

5. REVIEW your patient intake procedures with all team members—specifically for all scheduled sedation dentistry patients. Always cross-reference your patient’s medications, supplements, vitamins, and herbs with the sedative and anesthetic medications you plan to administer. Use a comprehensive program, such as Lexi-Comp® drug software. If there are any doubts, confer with your patient’s physician ahead of any treatment and document the conversation.

6. ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and CPR/BLS training is important for everyone on your team, so be certain they have taken the courses. Every state requires dentists and most staff at least to have CPR/BLS, and many states require ACLS for sedation. Sign up for an ACLS refresher course too; they are always beneficial. Also, make sure everyone in the office knows how to operate a pulse oximeter, capnograph, and AED.

7. CONTINUE your sedation education by registering yourself and team members for refresher courses and advanced training from a trusted and reliable educator. Even those who regularly treat patients with sedation dentistry will benefit from reviewing the very latest safety and pharmacological insights as well as previous course materials.

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