News & Current Issues

Restricted Certificate to Administer & Monitor Local Infiltration Anesthesia & Nitrous Oxide Analgesia


Commissioner's Regulations establishing requirements for licensed dental hygienists to obtain a restricted certificate to administer and monitor local infiltration anesthesia and nitrous oxide analgesia, under the personal supervision of a licensed dentist in the practice of dental hygiene, became effective August 7, 2003.

The following frequently asked questions and answers regarding the restricted certificate are provided for dental professionals and consumers of dental services. Please note that this information is intended for general use and is not law or rule. You should consult the appropriate statute(s), rule(s) or regulation(s) if you have an issue related to professional practice.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is certification required for a dental hygienist to administer local infiltration anesthesia and nitrous oxide analgesia?

    Yes. A licensed dental hygienist must obtain a restricted certificate to administer and monitor local infiltration anesthesia and nitrous oxide analgesia in the practice of dental hygiene, under the personal supervision of a licensed dentist.

  2. What is personal supervision of a licensed dentist?

    Dental hygienists who hold a local infiltration anesthesia/nitrous oxide certificate can administer and monitor local infiltration anesthesia or nitrous oxide analgesia based upon instructions provided by a licensed dentist who remains in the office where the services are being performed. The supervising dentist must personally authorize and prescribe the use of local infiltration anesthesia or nitrous oxide analgesia for the patient, and evaluate the condition of the patient after the dental hygienist has completed the procedure and before the patient leaves the office.

  3. Does the certification allow a dental hygienist to administer block anesthesia?

    No. Certified dental hygienists may only administer local infiltration anesthesia, meaning local anesthetic solution deposited near the terminal nerve endings, in the area of prospective dental hygiene treatment.

  4. How can a licensed dental hygienist become certified to administer and monitor local infiltration anesthesia and nitrous oxide analgesia?

    To become certified to administer and monitor local infiltration and nitrous oxide analgesia, a New York licensed dental hygienist must:

    • complete a course on administering and monitoring infiltration anesthesia and nitrous oxide analgesia at:
      • a New York dental or dental hygiene school, or
      • an institution with programs leading to licensure in dentistry and/or dental hygiene that are accredited by an acceptable accrediting body and meet the educational requirements prescribed in Commissioner's Regulations.

      Interested dental hygienists should contact the dental school or dental hygiene school of their choice to see if a certification course is available.

    • apply for certification through the State Education Department. You may access applications here or you may request them by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 320 or by e-mailing opforms@mail.nysed.gov.


  5. Can a dental hygienist who completed education to obtain similar certification from another jurisdiction use their education to become certified to administer and monitor local infiltration anesthesia and nitrous oxide anesthesia in New York State?

    The dental hygienist must become licensed to practice dental hygiene in New York State and apply for New York State anesthesia certification. The education completed previously would be reviewed by the State Education Department to determine whether or not it is equivalent to New York State's educational and training requirements for certification. If a dental hygienist's education and training is not found to be equivalent, he or she may be required to complete additional didactic coursework or clinical training before certification.


Additional Information

  1. Where can I find more information?

    For additional information, you may contact the State Board for Dentistry by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 550 or by e-mailing dentbd@mail.nysed.gov.

Last Updated: June 19, 2009