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Course Content


The SAAD National Course in Conscious Sedation for Dentistry covers the underpinning knowledge and clinical skills required for the safe provision of conscious sedation in dental practice. Advice is given regarding clinical experience which should follow each course. Sample programme.

Further details and online registration.

Under current IACSD guidance, any practitioner who was not practising sedation independently prior to April 2015, is designated a 'New Starter' and will need to undergo a period of supervised clinical practice before being able to practise sedation independently. SAAD is able to facilitate acquisition of the required supervised clinical experience (see IACSD Standards, Table 1) by offering a place on the SAAD Assessed Sedationist (SAS) scheme. The SAS scheme follows on from attendance of the SAAD National course where practitioners will have appropriate knowledge and skills training. Further details are at - SAS scheme.

Dental Nurses

The SAAD National Course for Dental Nurses in Conscious Sedation for Dentistry is held in London three times a year at the same time as the course for dentists. Although primarily designed for nurses who have experience in sedation techniques the course is also suitable for new members of the dental team. A certificate of attendance is awarded at the end of the course. This is a rewarding course, which is both educational and fun. Sample Programme.

Further details and online registration.

Under the IACSD standards anyone who was not practising sedation before April 2015 must attend a university, deanery or IACSD accredited sedation course that includes the provision of knowledge, skills and supervised clinical practice. The SAAD Assessed Sedation Nurse (SASN) scheme is IACSD accredited and provides the skills, knowledge and supervised clinical practice required to assist int he provision of sedation before a final assessment of competence. Further details, and online registration are at - SASN scheme.

Dental Therapists / Hygienists

The curriculum is based on the Dental Sedation Teachers’ Group Publication “Training in Conscious Sedation for Dentistry” and the GDC’s “Developing the Dental Team”. The course will provide revision of the relevant biomedical science covered in the latter publication and teaching in the shortfall between the two documents. The didactic and practical teaching on this course should be complemented by supervised clinical practice leading to competency for independent practice. This would normally be achieved after 10 supervised administrations of inhalation sedation, which must be organised in the participants own workplace. SAAD cannot organise supervised clinical practice. Sample programme.

Further course and registration details are at - IHS course for Hygienists & Therapists.


The SAAD National course can provide the underpinning knowledge required and an introduction to the clinical skills for sedation, but it is necessary to acquire clinical experience before embarking on independent practice.

The IACSD Standards for Conscious Sedation in the Provision of Dental Care’( April 2015) state that practitioners offering supervised clinical experience in conscious sedation must now be accredited by a university, deanery or IACSD (p34, 86).

Following publication of the IACSD standards in April 2015, dentists, doctors, dental hygienists/therapists and dental nurses who have no previous experience in conscious sedation for dentistry must now undertake appropriate training before commencing independent clinical practice. All training programmes for ‘new starters’ must include supervised clinical experience and have external validation. UK university-based courses and those run by Postgraduate Deaneries are deemed to be compliant. Other courses leading to independent (i.e. unsupervised) practice, including those run by private providers, must be accredited by IACSD. ‘Update’ courses for experienced sedationists and nurses do not need external accreditation.

The IACSD course accreditation process is straightforward and free. The application form may be downloaded from the FDSRCS Eng website

Applicants simply need to show how they intend to ensure that the trainees:

1) will access appropriate knowledge and skills training (IACSD Appendix 1). This might be provided in-house or by attending an appropriate course e.g. the SAAD National Course.


2) will have access to an appropriately trained and experienced sedationist who will act as a clinical supervisor for the required number of cases (IACSD Table 1). All supervised sedation experience must be recorded in an appropriate log book (e.g. available from the DSTG website).

Once submitted, the application form will be assessed by the Accreditation Sub-Committee of IACSD. The process usually takes less than one month. If approved, the course becomes ‘IACSD Accredited’ and the designated clinical supervisors are then approved to supervise trainees on this (but not other) courses. Clinical supervisors cannot be approved unless they are associated with an accredited course. Until the required number of supervised cases have been completed the trainee (dentist, doctor, dental hygienist/therapist or dental nurse) is unable to provide sedation independently.

SAAD has recently introduced schemes to facilitate to acquisition of 'supervised clinical experience' for both dentists an dental nurses. For further information please see SAAD Assessed Sedationist scheme or SAAD Assessed Sedation Nurse scheme.

Cancellation, transfer & refund policies


SAAD is at the forefront of postgraduate teaching of sedation techniques in dentistry. The Society runs courses for the whole dental team encouraging the safe provision of conscious sedation. Other activities include providing scientific seminars, giving expert advice to other bodies including the Department of Health and the General Dental Council; providing experts for guidelines and standards documents; giving expert evidence to the courts; promoting research in the field of pain and anxiety control and providing individual support and advice to members. Membership of the society is open to any registered dental or medical practitioner, dental nurse or dental therapist/hygienist.