Dental unit waterline system is considered potential source for contamination with Legionella species. The aim of this study was to determine if contamination of a dental unit water line system by Legionella pneumophila serogroup1 in the Mashhad School of Dentistry occurred in 2009.
A total of 52 dental units were selected from all clinical departments of the Mashhad School of Dentistry. Samples of water were collected from outlets of water/air spray, high-speed dental hand pieces and water cup fillers. Samples were tested via the ELISA method.
At the beginning of the work day, a total of 36.1 percent of dental units were contaminated by Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1.
Infection control of the dental unit water line system regarding legionella in the Mashhad School of Dentistry is a challenge and engineering controls should be used in contaminated clinics.
Legionella; Dental unit water line system; Contamination; Iran
Long-acting local anesthetics have proved to be effective for the suppression of both intraoperative and postoperative pain. They are useful for lengthy dental treatments and for prevention of severe pain following many types of surgical procedures. Although the currently available long-acting local anesthetics for dentistry have minimal side effects in the doses usually employed, there are potential problems. Bupivacaine, for example, can cause significant cardiac depressant and dysrhythmogenic responses. Etidocaine has less pronounced effects on the cardiovascular system, but its use may be associated with inadequate control of intraoperative bleeding. A new long-acting local anesthetic, ropivacaine, appears to offer advantages over either of the currently used long-acting agents.
Local anesthesia forms the major part of pain-control techniques in dentistry. The prevention and elimination of pain during dental treatment has benefited patients, their doctors and dental hygienists, enabling the dental profession to make tremendous therapeutic advances that would otherwise have been impossible. Introduced in the late 1940s, the amide local anesthetics represent the most used drugs in dentistry. Local anesthetics also represent the safest and most effective drugs in all of medicine for the prevention and management of pain. They are also accompanied by various adverse effects which should be well known and be able to be controlled by the clinician. The article reviews the types of agents used as local anesthetics and their effects on the human body.
Anesthesia; anesthetics; dental; local/adverse effects; pharmacology; vasoconstrictor agent
Neurologically, it is proven that stimulation of larger diameter fibers - e.g. using appropriate coldness, warmth, rubbing, pressure or vibration- can close the neural "gate" so that the central perception of itch and pain is reduced. This fact is based upon "Gate-control" theory of Melzack and Wall.
Presentation of the hypothesis
Syringe Micro Vibrator is a new design being introduced for the first time in the field of Dentistry. This device is a promising breakthrough in pain and anxiety management and may deliver solution for clinicians plagued with patient pain phobia. It has an off-set rotating micro vibration creator with ultra high frequency and ultra low altitude that can be easily placed on any standard dental syringe and some disposable syringes. This device was registered as an invention in dentistry and received Iran National Patent number of 63765.
Testing the hypothesis
By creating micro vibration, this device would be effective in reducing the pain and anxiety confronted with most types of intraoral injections as palatal, mandibular block, intraligamental and local infiltration. From the aspect of the patient pain management, this device contributes both physiologically (based on Gate Control Theory of pain) and psychologically (based on the device function as will be explained by dentist to the patient as a modern pain reducing technology). From the aspect of clinician, SMV motor provides vibrations with ultra high frequency to alleviate pain, but since it has ultra low vibration altitude, it has no adverse effect on the clinician dexterity and accuracy during injection and it does not interfere with pin point localization of injection site.
Implications of the hypothesis
Upon mounting on a conventional dental anesthesia injection syringe, SMV is switched on and the clinician then uses normal injection technique to administer the anesthetic. This device is not only a useful accessory device for ordinary patients, but also more useful for pediatric patients and those who have a phobia of intraoral injection or pain.
The development of local anesthesia in dentistry has marked the beginning of a new era in terms of pain control. Lignocaine is the most commonly used local anesthetic (LA) agent even though it has a vasodilative effect and needs to be combined with adrenaline. Centbucridine is a non-ester, non amide group LA and has not been comprehensively studied in the dental setting and the objective was to compare it to Lignocaine. This was a randomized study comparing the onset time, duration, depth and cardiovascular parameters between Centbucridine (0.5%) and Lignocaine (2%). The study was conducted in the dental outpatient department at the Government Dental College in India on patients attending for the extraction of lower molars. A total of 198 patients were included and there were no significant differences between the LAs except those who received Centbucridine reported a significantly longer duration of anesthesia compared to those who received Lignocaine. None of the patients reported any side effects. Centbucridine was well tolerated and its substantial duration of anesthesia could be attributed to its chemical compound. Centbucridine can be used for dental procedures and can confidently be used in patients who cannot tolerate Lignocaine or where adrenaline is contraindicated.
Patients unable to submit themselves to routine dental treatment under local anaesthesia were studied during treatment under diazepam sedation accompanied by local anaesthesia, and compared with a matched control group for psychiatric assessment. Physiological responses, operating conditions, amnesia, pain threshold, and recovery were all assessed by various tests.
Some of the patients had an anxiety neurosis, and several had been referred because of previous failure to complete dental treatment. Satisfactory conditions were obtained in all but two instances, and no adverse physiological responses occurred with diazepam in an intravenous dose of 0·2 mg./kg. Patients were clinically safe to leave accompanied by a responsible adult within one hour of administration of the drug. Some patients showed an improvement in attitude towards dentistry following treatment.
The relative efficacy and safety of drugs and combinations used clinically in dentistry as premedicants to alleviate patient apprehension are largely unsubstantiated. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of agents used for parenteral sedation through controlled clinical trials, it is first necessary to identify which drugs, doses, and routes of administration are actually used in practice. A survey instrument was developed to characterize the drugs used clinically for anesthesia and sedation by dentists with advanced training in pain control. A random sample of 500 dentists who frequently use anesthesia and sedation in practice was selected from the Fellows of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. The first mailing was followed by a second mailing to nonrespondents after 30 days. The respondents report a variety of parenteral sedation techniques in combination with local anesthesia (the response categories are not mutually exclusive): nitrous oxide (64%), intravenous conscious sedation (59%), intravenous “deep” sedation (47%), and outpatient general anesthesia (27%). Drugs most commonly reported for intravenous sedation include diazepam, methohexital, midazolam, and combinations of these drugs with narcotics. A total of 82 distinct drugs and combinations was reported for intravenous sedation and anesthesia. Oral premedication and intramuscular sedation are rarely used by this group. Most general anesthesia reported is done on an outpatient basis in private practice. These results indicate that a wide variety of drugs is employed for parenteral sedation in dental practice, but the most common practice among dentists with advanced training in anesthesia is local anesthesia supplemented with intravenous sedation consisting of a benzodiazepine and an opioid or a barbiturate.
In the majority of dental schools there are insufficient numbers of clinical patients for all students to receive optimal experience in intravenous sedation. This investigation was carried out to assess whether the signs and symptoms for intravenous sedation taught to the undergraduates were sufficiently objective to ensure that this clinical deficiency was not detrimental to competency of the graduating student. The signs of ptosis, altered speech and blurred vision were used by both experienced dentists and novice students to assess the level of intravenous sedation. Blurred vision was found to be unreliable while altered speech was more accurate than ptosis. The more experienced the operator the earlier the signs were observed.
The “Guidelines for the Teaching of Pain and Anxiety Control in Dentistry” were initially formulated by the American Dental Association in 1971 and revised in 19781 while similar guidelines were accepted by the House of Delegates of the Association of the Canadian Faculties of Dentistry in 19752 Both of these documents outlined the course of instructions necessary for the teaching of all modalities of pain and apprehension control at the undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education level. Implementation of these guidelines at the undergraduate level has proven to be particularly difficult in the area of intravenous sedation because of the lack of suitable patients. This has resulted in many students graduating, having had little practical experience in sedating a patient with an intravenous drug. It is the hope of educators in this field that lectures, seminars, and demonstrations given to dental students are sufficient to overcome this deficiency.
Since the most critical clinical aspect of intravenous sedation is titrating the amount of drug required without overdosing or underdosing the patient, it was decided to investigate this ability in students with no clinical experience with intravenous diazepam. Although many drugs and techniques are advocated3,4,5 it was decided to limit the study to intravenous diazepam as it may be used alone and has a high therapeutic index.
With the introduction of diazepam to clinical practice the symptomatology of the drug was established and described by clinicians.6,7 Objective methods of measuring recovery from diazepam have been described by several authors8,9,10 but the signs and symptoms used to assess the initial level of sedation have been subjective. This can be attributed to the fact that sedation is an ill-defined clinical effect and can, therefore, only be calibrated by individual arbitary signs. The most frequently used signs for intravenous diazepam sedation are ptosis, also referred to as “the Verrill sign,”11 altered speech and blurred vision.7 This investigation was designed to test the reliability of these signs and to examine the variability of observations between clinicians and students.
A method of common risk disease recognition, physical status assessment and safe management of the medically compromised patient in dentistry is presented. This routine applies to all dentistry treatment, with special attention to pain/anxiety/stress control by any modality.
This paper reports the validation of an assessment instrument designed to measure the outcomes of training in evidence-based practice (EBP) within the context of dentistry. Four EBP dimensions are measured by this instrument: (1) understanding of EBP concepts, (2) attitudes about EBP, (3) evidence accessing methods, and, (4) confidence in critical appraisal. The instrument is the Evidence Based Practice Knowledge, Attitudes, Access, and Confidence Evaluation (KACE) that has four scales, totaling 35 items: EBP knowledge (10), EBP attitudes (10), accessing evidence (9) and confidence in critical appraisal (6).
Four elements of validity were assessed: consistency of items within the KACE scales (extent to which items within a scale measure the same dimension), discrimination (capacity to detect differences between individuals with different training or experience), responsiveness (capacity to detect the effects of education on trainees) and test-retest reliability. Internal consistency of scales was assessed by analyzing responses from KACEs completed by second year dental students, dental residents and dental school faculty using Cronbach alpha. Discriminative validity was assessed by comparing KACE scores for students, residents and faculty members. Responsiveness was assessed by comparing pre - and post - training responses for dental students and residents. To measure test-retest reliability, the KACE was completed twice by a class of freshmen dental students 17 days apart and the knowledge scale was completed twice by 16 dental faculty 14 days apart.
Item - to - scale consistency ranged from 0.21 to 0.78 for knowledge, 0.57 to 0.83 for attitude, 0.70 to 0.84 for accessing evidence and 0.87 to 0.94 for confidence. For discrimination, ANOVA and post-hoc testing by the Tukey-Kramer method revealed significant score differences among students, residents and faculty consistent with education and experience levels. For responsiveness to training, dental students and residents demonstrated statistically significant changes, in desired directions, from pre - to post - test. For the student test-retest, Pearson correlations for KACE scales were: knowledge (0.66), attitudes (0.66), evidence accessing (0.74) and confidence (0.76). For the knowledge scale test-retest by faculty, the Pearson correlation was 0.79.
The construct validity of the KACE is equivalent to that of instruments that assess similar EBP dimensions in medicine. Item consistency for the knowledge scale was more variable than for other KACE scales, a finding also reported for medically-oriented EBP instruments. The KACE has good discriminative validity, responsiveness to training effects, and test-retest reliability.
Evidence-based practice; critical appraisal; dental education; assessment
Background and aims
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a well-known acute-phase reactant produced by the liver in response to inflammation caused by various stimuli. Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of tooth-supporting structures characterized by attachment loss and alveolar bone loss. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between serum C-reactive protein levels and periodontal diseases.
Materials and methods
The study was conducted on 166 patients referring to Tabriz Faculty of Dentistry. The age range was between 35 and 59 years. 83 subjects with periodontitis according to NHANES III index as test group and 83 healthy individuals as controls participated in this study. Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), probing depth, attachment loss and CRP levels were measured in both test and control groups. Data was analyzed with Student’s t-test, odds ratio (OR), Chi-square test and Spearman’s correlation coefficient, using SPSS 13.0 software.
The results revealed a statistically significant difference between all of the analyzed variables in test and control groups (P < 0.05). Classifying the test subjects into two subgroups (subjects with CRP ≥ 3 mg/l and subjects with CRP < 3 mg/l), the highest OR in females belonged to WC (OR = 6.4; 95% CI: 1.18-35.2, P = 0.02) and in males to obesity (OR = 4.8; 95% CI: 0.65-35.19, P = 0.05). Considering the correlation between obesity, overweight, WC and CRP with probing depth and attachment loss denoted that obesity presented the highest (r = 1, P = 0.00) and overweight the lowest (r = 0.4, P = 0.07) association. In females, CRP was related to the severity of periodontitis and attachment loss (r = 0.662, P = 0.00). Excluding overweight, the association between all the variables was statistically significant (P < 0.05).
Our findings indicate that periodontal disease is correlated with CRP elevation and dis-eases associated with obesity.
BMI; C-reactive protein; obesity; periodontal disease
This study describes what training programs in pediatric dentistry and dental anesthesiology are doing to meet future needs for deep sedation/general anesthesia services required for pediatric dentistry. Residency directors from 10 dental anesthesiology training programs in North America and 79 directors from pediatric dentistry training programs in North America were asked to answer an 18-item and 22-item online survey, respectively, through an online survey tool. The response rate for the 10 anesthesiology training program directors was 9 of 10 or 90%. The response rate for the 79 pediatric dentistry training program directors was 46 of 79 or 58%. Thirty-seven percent of pediatric dentistry programs use clinic-based deep sedation/general anesthesia for dental treatment in addition to hospital-based deep sedation/general anesthesia. Eighty-eight percent of those programs use dentist anesthesiologists for administration of deep sedation/general anesthesia in a clinic-based setting. Pediatric dentistry residency directors perceive a future change in the need for deep sedation/general anesthesia services provided by dentist anesthesiologists to pediatric dentists: 64% anticipate an increase in need for dentist anesthesiologist services, while 36% anticipate no change. Dental anesthesiology directors compared to 2, 5, and 10 years ago have seen an increase in the requests for dentist anesthesiologist services by pediatric dentists reported by 56% of respondents (past 2 years), 63% of respondents (past 5 years), and 88% of respondents (past 10 years), respectively. Predicting the future need of dentist anesthesiologists is an uncertain task, but these results show pediatric dentistry directors and dental anesthesiology directors are considering the need, and they recognize a trend of increased need for dentist anesthesiologist services over the past decade.
Demand for services; Dental anesthesiologist; Pediatric dentist
Objectives: To study the career development of male graduates of King Saud University (KSU), College of Dentistry in terms of pursuit of postgraduate dental education, higher degrees or Board Certification, choice of universities and countries of study, and place of work after qualification.
Methods: A questionnaire survey was carried out through face to face or telephone interview among 666 KSU graduates of 1982–2004.
Results: 80% (532 graduates) response rate. (77%) finished postgraduate dental education. 17% specialized in Prosthodontics, 16% in Saudi Board Advanced Restorative Dentistry, 14% in Advanced General Dentistry, 10.5% in Orthodontics, 10% in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 8.3% in Pediatric Dentistry, 7.7% in Endodontics, 6% in Periodontics, 5.5% in Operative Dentistry, 5% in other Specialties. 61% had a Master’s degree and 16% had a Doctorate degree. 23% had Board Certificates and 8% had a Fellowship Certificate. (78%) are working in the government, 15% at the university and 6% in private, and 19% in administrative positions.
Conclusion: Most of the dental graduates were motivated and eager to continue their postgraduate education to get either clinical specialty or academic degrees from nationally and internationally well recognized and known Universities and programs.
Graduate; Dental; Specialty; Career; Education; Postgraduate
Dental thermal pain is a significant health problem in daily life and dentistry. There is a long-standing question regarding the phenomenon that cold stimulation evokes sharper and more shooting pain sensations than hot stimulation. This phenomenon, however, outlives the well-known hydrodynamic theory used to explain dental thermal pain mechanism. Here, we present a mathematical model based on the hypothesis that hot or cold stimulation-induced different directions of dentinal fluid flow and the corresponding odontoblast movements in dentinal microtubules contribute to different dental pain responses. We coupled a computational fluid dynamics model, describing the fluid mechanics in dentinal microtubules, with a modified Hodgkin-Huxley model, describing the discharge behavior of intradental neuron. The simulated results agreed well with existing experimental measurements. We thence demonstrated theoretically that intradental mechano-sensitive nociceptors are not “equally sensitive” to inward (into the pulp) and outward (away from the pulp) fluid flows, providing mechanistic insights into the difference between hot and cold dental pain. The model developed here could enable better diagnosis in endodontics which requires an understanding of pulpal histology, neurology and physiology, as well as their dynamic response to the thermal stimulation used in dental practices.
The present exploratory, descriptive study aimed to determine the designated time for mandatory pain content in curricula of major Canadian universities for students in health science and veterinary programs before being licensed.
Major Canadian university sites (n=10) were chosen where health science faculties included at least medicine (n=10) and nursing (n=10); many also included dentistry (n=8), pharmacy (n=7), physical therapy (n=8) and/or occupational therapy (n=6). These disciplines provide the largest number of students entering the workforce but are not the only ones contributing to the health professional team. Veterinary programs (n=4) were also surveyed as a comparison. The Pain Education Survey, developed from previous research and piloted, was used to determine total mandatory pain hours.
The majority of health science programs (67.5%) were unable to specify designated hours for pain. Only 32.5% respondents could identify specific hours allotted for pain course content and/or additional clinical conferences. The average total time per discipline across all years varied from 13 h to 41 h (range 0 h to 109 h). All veterinary respondents identified mandatory designated pain content time (mean 87 h, range 27 h to 200 h). The proportion allotted to the eight content categories varied, but time was least for pain misbeliefs, assessment and monitoring/follow-up planning.
Only one-third of the present sample could identify time designated for teaching mandatory pain content. Two-thirds reported ‘integrated’ content that was not quantifiable or able to be determined, which may suggest it is not a priority at that site. Many expressed a need for pain-related curriculum resources.
Canadian health science universities; Prelicensure pain curricula
Recent research suggests bi-directional interactions between the experience of pain and the process of sleep; pain interferes with the ability to obtain sleep, and disrupted sleep contributes to enhanced pain perception. Our group recently reported, in a controlled experimental study, that sleep fragmentation among healthy adults resulted in subsequent decrements in endogenous pain inhibition. The present report follows up that observation by extending this line of research to a sample of patients experiencing persistent pain. Patients with chronic temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) pain were studied using polysomnography and psychophysical evaluation of pain responses. We assessed whether individual differences in sleep continuity and/or architecture were related to diffuse noxious inhibitory controls (DNIC), a measure of central nervous system pain inhibition. Among 53 TMD patients, higher sleep efficiency and longer total sleep time were positively associated with better functioning of DNIC (r=.42 − .44, p< .01; p’s< .05 for the multivariate analyses). These results suggest the possibility that disrupted sleep may serve as a risk factor for inadequate pain-inhibitory processing and hint that aggressive efforts to treat sleep disturbance early in the course of a pain condition might be beneficial in reducing the severity or impact of clinical pain.
pain sensitivity; sleep architecture; temporomandibular joint disorder; diffuse noxious inhibitory controls; idiopathic pain; central sensitivity
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) alone or TENS combined with nitrous oxide-oxygen (N2O) was administered for restorative dentistry without local anesthesia to 371 adult patients. A total of 55% of TENS alone and 84% of TENS/N2O visits were rated successful. A total of 53% of TENS alone and 82% of TENS/N2O patients reported slight or no pain. In multivariable analyses, pain reports were related to the anesthesia technique and patient fear and unrelated to sex, race, age, tooth, or depth of preparation.
The aim of this study was to study the knowledge and attitude of the pediatricians and family physicians on the dental counterpart, i.e. pediatric dentistry and the objective of this study were to determine what can improve the knowledge and attitude on pediatric dentistry and suggest certain methodologies to more participation of physicians in improving oral health.
Materials and Methods:
A systematic random survey of 400 pediatricians and 400 family physicians received a questionnaire pertaining to individual details, approach towards pediatric dentistry, knowledge level and the training on oral health received.
Most of pediatricians and family physicians acknowledged the importance of pediatric dentistry. Less of pediatricians and more of family physicians predicted the parents may pose a barrier for referral. More number of pediatricians were aware of the oral benefits of breast feeding when compared to the family physician. Most of the practitioners in both groups were less aware of the first dental visit including ECC. Acknowledgement of the role in cleft lip and palate was more or less same in both groups of practitioners were as the effect of systemic disease on oral health was recognized by more number of pediatricians. Only a small percentage in both the groups acknowledged the cariogenicity of medicated syrups, which was substantiated by the fact that only a small number of physicians underwent dental training and most of them were accepting to undergo training.
When basic medical training is provided in dental school, medical schools can also provide dental training. Dental lectures can also be incorporated into CME programs and recognition of pediatric dentistry by providing referral to needy patients have been suggested.
First dental visit; preventive oral care; referral
One of the most distressing aspects of dentistry for pediatric patients is the fear and anxiety caused by the dental environment, particularly the dental injection. The application and induction of local anesthetics has always been a difficult task, and this demands an alternative method that is convenient and effective. Electronic dental anesthesia, based on the principal of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS), promises to be a viable mode of pain control during various pediatric clinical procedures. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of TENS and to compare its efficacy with 2% lignocaine during various minor pediatric dental procedures. Pain, comfort and effectiveness of both the anesthetics were evaluated using various scales and no significant difference was observed between 2% lignocaine and TENS in the various pain scales, while TENS was perceived to be significantly effective in comfort and efficacy as judged by the operator and quite comfortable as judged by the patient himself/herself.
2% lignocaine; comfort and efficacy; electronic dental anesthesia/TENS; pain scales
The authorization of departments of community dentistry and public health in the nation's dental schools is a relatively recent innovation in dental education. Such a department was established at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in 1966, as part of the School of Medicine's effort to share responsibility in providing both access and availability of health services in inner-city Los Angeles, California. Dentistry was included in the protocol submitted to the US Office of Economic Opportunity to build a neighborhood health center in Watts, operated under the joint jurisdiction of the medical and dental schools. The dental division of the health center was designated a satellite of the community dentistry department. The department envisioned future changes during the revolutionary 1960s when all aspects of the nation were experiencing upheaval as traditional concepts were challenged by new attitudes. The nation's leaders in government and education as well as in the health professions were stimulated by scientific and technologic discoveries. Dentistry had come of age, having gained the respect of other health-care disciplines. It was a time of expanded exploration of means toward a healthier populace and a more sensitive ethical provider of health care. In one decade, the USC community dentistry department accomplished a major shift in attitude about the specialty from one of pervasive opposition and antipathy to that of acceptance and even enthusiasm. The department became competitive with similar units nationwide in educating dental students and practitioners to fulfill their responsibilities at the highest level of proficiency and to be true to the trust bestowed on them by the public. In pursuit of these goals, the department reflected credit on dentistry and the University of Southern California.
Introduction: In the pre-clinical phase of the study of dentistry at the University of Greifswald, the course “Early Patient Contact (EPC)” is conducted within the framework of Community Medicine/Dentistry. The course is based on three pillars: the patient visiting program, special problem-oriented seminars, and communication training for doctors. The essential goal consists of providing students with real patient contact right at the beginning of their study of dentistry, thus making the study of dentistry patient-based very early on. Students are trained in taking comprehensive anamneses and recording clinical findings.
Methods: Within the framework of the dental preliminary exams, the course is evaluated using an OSCE on a standardized patient. Furthermore, the added value of an additional training unit (conducting anamnesis and clinical examination) in preparation for the OSCE was evaluated. The exam results of a group without training (control group) were compared with those of a group with training (intervention group).
Results: The intervention group performed significantly better than the control on the following items: the total number of points achieved on the OSCE early patient contact, and in the most important points of the anamnesis and clinical examination. In addition, the intervention group tended to score higher in terms of the item “oral health status”.
Conclusion: The present study showed a positive effect of an additional training unit on students’ performance in the OSCE. Taking the limitations of the study and the results of a literature review into account, we recommend conducting such training as preparation for the OSCE.
Community Dentistry; educational measurement; predental examination; OSCE
The number of noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures performed outside of the operating room has grown exponentially over the last several decades.Sedation, analgesia, or both may be needed for many of these interventional or diagnostic procedures. Individualized care is important when determining if a patient requires procedural sedation analgesia (PSA). The patient might need an anti-anxiety drug, pain medicine, immobilization, simple reassurance, or a combination of these interventions. The goals of PSA in four different multidisciplinary practices namely; emergency, dentistry, radiology and gastrointestinal endoscopy are discussed in this review article. Some procedures are painful, others painless. Therefore, goals of PSA vary widely. Sedation management can range from minimal
sedation, to the extent of minimal anesthesia. Procedural sedation in emergency department (ED) usually requires combinations of multiple agents to reach desired effects of analgesia plus anxiolysis. However, in dental practice, moderate sedation analgesia (known to the dentists as conscious sedation) is usually what is required. It is usually most effective with the combined use of local anesthesia. The mainstay of success for painless imaging is absolute immobility. Immobility can be achieved by deep sedation or minimal anesthesia. On the other hand, moderate sedation, deep sedation, minimal anesthesia and conventional general anesthesia can be all utilized for management of gastrointestinal endoscopy.
Conscious sedation; deep sedation; minimal anesthesia; procedural sedation
Intravenous diazepam is commonly used in clinical dentistry to produce sedation for dental procedures. Its chief benefit seems to derive from its sedative and amnesic properties. The literature contains conflicting reports about the direct analgesic effects of the drug. In the present study, we observed significant increases for conventional pain threshold measures in response to electric tooth pulp stimulation and decreased sensitivity to a fixed painful stimulus when diazepam was administered intravenously using clinical criteria for conscious sedative dosages. The data support the possibility that intravenously administered diazepam in conscious sedative doses may have some analgesic action in addition to its better documented sedative and amnesic properties.
Perfusion of individual tissues is a basic physiological process that is necessary to sustain oxygenation and nutrition at a cellular level. Ischemia, or the insufficiency of perfusion, is a common mechanism for tissue death or degeneration, and at a lower threshold, a mechanism for the generation of sensory signalling including pain. It is of considerable interest to study perfusion of peripheral abdominal tissues in a variety of circumstances. Microvascular disease of the abdominal organs has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of disorders, including peptic ulcer disease, inflammatory bowel disease and chest pain. The basic principle of laser Doppler perfusion monitoring (LDPM) is to analyze changes in the spectrum of light reflected from tissues as a response to a beam of monochromatic laser light emitted. It reflects the total local microcirculatory blood perfusion, including perfusion in capillaries, arterioles, venules and shunts. During the last 20-25 years, numerous studies have been performed in different parts of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract using LDPM. In recent years we have developed a multi-modal catheter device which includes a laser Doppler probe, with the intent primarily to investigate patients suffering from functional chest pain of presumed oesophageal origin. Preliminary studies show the feasibility of incorporating LDPM into such catheters for performing physiological studies in the GI tract. LDPM has emerged as a research and clinical tool in preference to other methods; but, it is important to be aware of its limitations and account for them when reporting results.
Laser Doppler perfusion monitoring; Gastrointestinal tract; Mucosal blood flow; Perfusion; Chest pain
Difficulties in social cognition are well recognized in individuals with autism spectrum conditions (henceforth ‘autism’). Here we focus on one crucial aspect of social cognition: the ability to empathize with the feelings of another. In contrast to theory of mind, a capacity that has often been observed to be impaired in individuals with autism, much less is known about the capacity of individuals with autism for affect sharing. Based on previous data suggesting that empathy deficits in autism are a function of interoceptive deficits related to alexithymia, we aimed to investigate empathic brain responses in autistic and control participants with high and low degrees of alexithymia. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we measured empathic brain responses with an ‘empathy for pain’ paradigm assessing empathic brain responses in a real-life social setting that does not rely on attention to, or recognition of, facial affect cues. Confirming previous findings, empathic brain responses to the suffering of others were associated with increased activation in left anterior insula and the strength of this signal was predictive of the degree of alexithymia in both autistic and control groups but did not vary as a function of group. Importantly, there was no difference in the degree of empathy between autistic and control groups after accounting for alexithymia. These findings suggest that empathy deficits observed in autism may be due to the large comorbidity between alexithymic traits and autism, rather than representing a necessary feature of the social impairments in autism.
empathy; autism; alexithymia; interoception; anterior insula; mentalizing; theory of mind