Controlled Substances in Illinois

Prescription Writing Authority

Licensed dentists in Illinois may write prescriptions only in connection with dental-related ailments or conditions. To write a prescription for any other non-dental condition is a violation of the Illinois Dental Practice Act and may make the dentist liable for license sanction.

By virtue of receiving the general dental license, a dentist may write prescriptions for non-controlled substances. However, if a dentist wishes to have the authority to prescribe for controlled substances as defined by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), then he/she must obtain two licenses from both the State of Illinois and the DEA.

Controlled drugs are listed by schedule, and any dentist who chooses to prescribe or dispense Schedule II through V drugs is subject to the provisions of the Illinois Controlled Substance Act as well as federal regulations. Illinois law requires that a dentist possess an Illinois controlled substance license for each place of business. Federal DEA registrations (DEA Number) are issued only to persons who hold an Illinois controlled substance license. Unless the doctor is dispensing or administering controlled drugs, then only one DEA number is needed to prescribe.

If a dentist intends to dispense or administer controlled substances directly to patients, there are a number of further state and federal regulations that are brought into play including proper record keeping of drug purchases, storing on site, dispensing logs, and reports. Be sure to contact the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation prior to dispensing or administering controlled drugs to patients.

Anesthesia Permits

According to the Illinois Dental Practice Act, licensed dentists who wish to provide conscious sedation or deep and general anesthesia services to patients must first obtain an anesthesia permit from the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. Depending on the level of service to be provided, the dentist must apply for either a Permit A or Permit B. Neither permit is required if the dentist is merely providing an oral medication or nitrous oxide analgesia to reduce anxiety.

Permit A
This permit is required if a dentist wishes to provide Moderate sedation (conscious sedation) regardless of the route of administration. There are educational requirements that must be met before the department will issue a Permit A to a practitioner.

Permit B
This permit is required if a dentist wants to provide deep sedation or general anesthesia to a patient. Certain educational requirements that go beyond the requirements of the conscious sedation permit must be met before the department will issue a Permit B to a dentist.

Rules and regulations

There are specific rules of the Illinois Dental Practice Act that address several important aspects of dental anesthesia in the office, and these include

  • Educational requirements to obtain Permits A or B
  • Equipment, facility and procedure requirements to administer anesthesia
  • Approved training programs in anesthesiology

See Sections 1220.500-560 of these rules to read specifically about anesthesia.

The rules also contain an Appendix that provides a handy reference guide for dentists