It is about time!  I graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry in 1985, and hygiene students were in my local anesthesia class way back then.  It is true!  And they received a 4 year BS degree in Dental Hygiene to boot.  Florida only offers/requires a 2 year Associates Degree, but they all are National Certified Registered Dental Hygienists.

The Florida Board of Dentistry approved in mid 2010 to let Florida hygienists train to administer local anesthesia.  It was sent on to the Florida Legislature for approval.

64B5-16.006 Remediable Tasks Delegable to a Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist can perform local anesthesia under the indirect supervision of a dentist with the following training:
A minimum of 45 contact hours which includes 12 hours of instruction in emergency medical procedures and the remaining hours in diadactic and clinical education at an accredited institution of higher learning sufficient to establish the dental hygienist’s ability to anesthetize the entire dentition and supporting structures.

The Bill passed both the Florida House and Senate on 3/6/2012 and was sent on to the Governor for signing.

The course was upgraded in the legislature to a minimum of 30 hours of didactic instruction (15 hours live/15 hours web-based) and 30 hours of clinical experience and instruction in (15 hours live/15 hours observational):

    • 1. Theory of pain control.
    • 2. Selection-of-pain-control modalities.
    • 3. Anatomy.
    • 4. Neurophysiology.
    • 5. Pharmacology of local anesthetics.
    • 6. Pharmacology of vasoconstrictors.
    • 7. Psychological aspects of pain control.
    • 8. Systematic complications.
    • 9. Techniques of maxillary anesthesia.
    • 10. Techniques of mandibular anesthesia.
    • 11. Infection control.
    • 12. Medical emergencies involving local anesthesia.

The dental hygienist must present evidence of current certification in basic or advanced cardiac life support.

I will definitely be encouraging my 3 hygienists to get certified, but not for the reasons you might think.  The obvious reasons are that I would not have to take time to give hygiene patients local anesthesia for sensitive patients or for procedures such as scaling and root planing.  To be honest, not since we started to use Oraqix have I had to give very many hygiene patients local anesthetic.  The real reason is that I want to elevate my staff to the next level.  Giving them a new technique/responsibility/power I think will re-energize them into learning more about other areas of dentistry as well.  One of my hygienist has been at our office for over 20 years!  I think it would put a spark of adventure back in their careers and make them feel more engaged in their every day patient care.

More info on its way!

I have since gone to Amazon.com and purchased 4 of the most popular local anesthesia books for my staff to begin to look over in preparation for these classes when they are offered.

Typical Course Description (University of Florida): Current Program Cost $1850

The courses can be completed in as little as two (long) weekends.  Several dates have been provided at University of Florida (others may vary in course presentation and convenient scheduling).

Weekend #1 – (Saturday/Sunday/8-5pm) 30 hours (7.5 hr didactic/7.5 hr clinical)

Weekend #2 – (Saturday/Sunday/8-5pm) 30 hours (7.5 hr didactic/7.5 hr clinical)

Nova Southeastern University has a slightly different schedule involving a Friday/Saturday/Sunday and a Saturday/Sunday weekend, but with fewer dates offered.

Must have finished all web-based didactic (estimated 6 hours) and observational criteria (15 hours) before being certified.

The observational requirements are to watch a dentist from start to finish on a procedure in which local anesthetics have been used.  When I first heard this I thought it sounded a little ridiculous and a waste of time, but once I thought about it, it made more sense.  Watching someone who is an expert in delivering local anesthetic over and over again has its obvious benefits.   Observing throughout the entire procedure will allow the hygienist to see how profound and effective the different anesthetic techniques actually are, and to see how it might be modified during different procedures to remedy any deficiencies. At our office it was relatively easy to work the observational requirements into our schedule.  We have two doctors and three hygienists. If in the event one of our hygienists had an opening/no show/last minute rescheduling, then they were assigned to observe or actually assist in a dental procedure involving local anesthetics.  These times are documented, signed off by the dentist and presented to the course coordinator at whatever Dental Hygiene Course being attended.

Not every State dental hygiene school will need to offer a course to practicing RDH since they are in close proximity to either a dental school or another hygiene school offering it.   The web-base didactic study is provided by the individual course you have enrolled in.

Florida State Hygiene Programs: Local Anesthesia Status

1. Edison State College: Course Available $1500 Require Book
8099 College Parkway S.W.
Ft. Myers, FL  33919
Karen Molumby, RDH, MBA — Director of Dental Programs
Phone: (239) 985-8322  Fax: (239) 985-8352
Email Address: kmolumby@edison.edu
Web Site: www.edison.edu

Map this Location

2. State College of Florida, Manatee – Sarasota: Course Available $1495 Require Book
5840 26th Street, West
Bradenton, FL  34207
Anita J. Weaver, RDH, MS — Program Director
Phone: (941) 752-5350  Fax: (941) 727-6443
Email Address: weavera@scf.edu
Web Site: www.scf.edu

Map this Location

3.Brevard Community College: No Planned Course as of 10/2012
1519 Clearlake Rd.
Cocoa, FL  32922
Janice Elkins, BSDH, MEd — Program Manager
Phone: (321) 632-1111 X 7568 Fax: (321) 433-7599
Email Address: elkinsj@brevardcc.edu
Web Site: www.brevardcc.edu

Map this Location

4. Broward College: Course Available $954.83
3501 Southwest Davie Road
Davie, FL  33314
Joyce Abraham, RDH, BA — Associate Dean
Phone: (954) 201-6904  Fax: (954) 201-6397
Email Address: jabraham@broward.edu
Web Site: www.broward.edu

Map this Location

5. Daytona State College: No Planned Course as of 10/2012
1155 County Road 4139
DeLand, FL  32724
Pamela S. Ridilla, RDH, MS —Chairperson; Program Director
Phone: (386) 785-2093  Fax: (386) 785-2090
Email Address: ridillp@DaytonaState.edu
Web Site: www.daytonastate.edu

Map this Location

6. Florida State College at Jacksonville: Possible course in Spring 2013
4501 Capper Road
Jacksonville, FL  32218
Jeffrey R. Smith, DMD — Dental Program Manager
Phone: (904) 766-6655  Fax: (904) 713-4856
Email Address: jesmith@fscj.edu
Web Site: www.fscj.edu/

Map this Location

7.Gulf Coast Community College: Program in development for Spring 2013
5230 West Highway 98
Panama City, FL  32401-1058
Laura G. Justice, RDH, CDA, MSEd — Coordinator of Dental Programs
Phone: (850) 747-3248  Fax: (850) 747-3246
Email Address: ljustice@gulfcoast.edu
Web Site: www.gulfcoast.edu

Map this Location

8. Hillsborough Community College: No Planned Course as of 10/2012
4001 Tampa Bay Blvd.
Tampa, FL  33614-2754
Debra Heysek, RDH, MS — Dental Hygiene Program Director
Phone: (813) 253-7426  Fax: (813) 253-7491
Email Address: dheysek@hccfl.edu
Web Site: www.hccfl.edu/

Map this Location

9. Indian River State College: Course Available $995 Require Book
Department of Dental Hygiene
3209 Virginia Avenue
Ft. Pierce, FL  34981-5599
Marta G. Ferguson, EdD — Department Chair Dental Hygiene
Phone: (772) 462-7523  Fax: (772) 462-7816
Email Address: mferguso@irsc.edu
Web Site: www.irsc.edu

Map this Location

10. Miami Dade College: Course Available
950 NW 20 Street
Miami, FL  33127
Susan H. Kass, EdD — Program Director
Phone: (305) 237-4029  Fax: (305) 237-4278
Email Address: skass@mdc.edu
Web Site: www.mdc.edu

Map this Location

11. Palm Beach State College: Course Available
4200 Congress Avenue, Dental Health Services #32
Lake Worth, FL  33461
Judith McCauley, RDH, MA — Chair Dental Hygiene Program
Phone: (561) 868-3758  Fax: (561) 868-3753
Email Address: mccaulej@palmbeachstate.edu
Web Site: www.palmbeachstate.edu/

Map this Location

12. Pasco-Hernando Community College:
10230 Ridge Rd.
New Port Richey, FL  34654-5199
Deborah Nastelli, RDH, MS — Co-Coordinator Dental Programs
Donna Low, RDH, MS — Co-Coordinator Dental Programs
Phone: (727) 816-3423  Fax: (727) 816-3478
Email Address: nasteld@phcc.edu or lowd@phcc.edu
Web Site: www.phcc.edu

Map this Location

13. Pensacola State College: Program in development for Spring 2013
5555 Highway 98 West
Pensacola, FL  32507
Linda Lambert, RDH — Program Director
Phone: (850) 484-2242  Fax: (850) 484-2364
Email Address: llambert@pensacolastate.edu
Web Site: www.pjc.edu

Map this Location

14. Sanford Brown Institute-Ft. Lauderdale: No Planned Course as of 10/2012
1201 W. Cypress Creek Road
Ft. Lauderdale, FL  33309-1906
Jorge Velasquez, DDS — Program Director
Phone: (954) 308-7398  Fax: (954) 375-6940
Email Address: jvelasquez@sbftlaud.com
Web Site: www.sanfordbrown.edu/Fort-Lauderdale

Map this Location

15. Sanford Brown Institute-Jacksonville:
10255 Fortune Parkway, Suite 501
Jacksonville, FL  32256
Marsha R. Aldrich, RDH, MPH — Dental Hygiene Program Director
Phone: (904) 380-2916  Fax: (000) 000-0000
Email Address: maldrich@sbjacksonville.com
Web Site: www.sanfordbrown.edu/Jacksonville

Map this Location

16. Sanford Brown Institute-Orlando:
5959 Lake Ellenor Drive
Orlando, FL  32809
Debra Ann Dixon, RDH, MS — Program Director
Phone: (407) 393-1481  Fax: (407) 393-1550
Email Address: ddixon@sbiorlando.com
Web Site: www.sanfordbrown.edu/Orlando

Map this Location

17. Santa Fe College: Course Available at UF
3000 N.W. 83rd Street, W81E
Gainesville, FL  32606
Karen Autrey, RDH, BHS, MEd — Director of Dental Programs
Phone: (352) 395-5705 X 5705 Fax: (352) 395-5785
Email Address:
Web Site: www.sfcollege.edu/

Map this Location

18. South Florida Community College:
600 West College Drive
Avon Park, FL  33825-9356
Rebecca Sroda, RDH, MS — Associate Dean of Allied Health/Director of Dental Education
Phone: (863) 784-7020  Fax: (863) 453-9442
Email Address: srodar@southflorida.edu
Web Site: www.southflorida.edu

Map this Location

19. St. Petersburg College: Program in development as of 10/2012
7200 66th Street N
Pinellas Park, FL  33781
Joan Tonner, RDH, BSHS, MA — Program Director
Phone: (727) 341-3671  Fax: (727) 324-2091
Email Address: tonner.joan@spcollege.edu
Web Site: www.spcollege.edu/hec/dental/

Map this Location

20. Tallahassee Community College: No Planned Course as of 10/2012
444 Appleyard Dr.
Tallahassee, FL  32304-2895
Michele Edwards, CDA, RDH, MS — Associate Professor & Chair, Dental Health
Phone: (850) 201-6095  Fax: (850) 201-8575
Email Address: edwardsm@tcc.fl.edu
Web Site: www.tcc.fl.edu/

Map this Location

21. Valencia Community College:
P.O. Box 3028
Orlando, FL  32802
Pamela Sandy, RDH, BS, MA — Program Director
Phone: (407) 582-1544  Fax: (407) 582-1295
Email Address: psandy@valenciacc.edu
Web Site: www.valenciacc.edu

Map this Location

Other Accredited Schools considering courses in Local Anesthesia:

(list is evolving-check back later)