Hybrid-Format Anesthesia Course Available to Certified Dental Hygienists

by Tamara A. Measler

This spring, the Dental Hygiene program at Montgomery County Community College will offer a unique course in which licensed dental hygienists are trained to administer local anesthesia.

Pennsylvania revised its regulations for licensed dental hygienists in 2009, allowing them to administer local anesthesia under the direct supervision of a dentist and upon completion of a Board approved local anesthesia course provided by an accredited program.

To help hygienists obtain a local anesthesia permit, MCCC is offering this 32-hour course for the sixth time in a hybrid format designed to fit the needs of licensed dental hygienists.

The spring anesthesia course begins on March 2 and runs through April 27. For more information, contact the Director of the Dental Hygiene Program, Jenny Sheaffer, at 215-641-6623 or jsheaff@mc3.edu.

“The local anesthesia course format is unique in that it is designed for convenient completion by dental hygienists in the workforce,” said Jenny K. Sheaffer, Professor and Director of the Dental Hygiene Program. “Participants will complete one module per week for six weeks,” she said, “and the modules will be accessible online 24 hours per day.”

In addition, Sheaffer said, “Participants will also perform safe and effective local anesthesia administration on clinical partners under the supervision of certified faculty members in three laboratory sessions in the Dental Hygiene Clinic at the Central Campus in Blue Bell.”

The course, “Local Anesthesia for Dental Hygienists,” covers the content areas required by the PA State Board of Dentistry and focuses on the topics of head and neck anatomy, pharmacology of local anesthetic agents, patient evaluation, recognition of adverse events, emergency procedures and administration techniques. The course meets all requirements to apply for a permit to administer local anesthesia in the practice of dental hygiene.

To enroll in this course, students must have minimal computer skills and must provide proof of liability insurance and copies of their dental hygiene license and their current CPR certification.

The College’s Dental Hygiene Program is an accredited 70-credit hour A.A.S. educational program that prepares students to perform dental hygiene procedures in a variety of dental hygiene practice settings and/or to pursue an advanced degree.

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