Adverse reactions may occur with any of the medications prescribed or administered in dental practice. Most of these reactions are somewhat predictable based on the pharmacodynamic properties of the drug. Others, such as allergic and pseudoallergic reactions, are less common and unrelated to normal drug action. This article will review the most common adverse reactions that are unrelated to drug allergy.
Adverse drug reactions; Drug side effects; Dentistry
Adverse reactions to medications prescribed or administered in dental practice can be worrying. Most of these reactions are somewhat predictable based on the pharmacodynamic properties of the drug. Others, such as allergic and pseudoallergic reactions, are generally unpredictable and unrelated to normal drug action. This article will review immune and nonimmune-mediated mechanisms that account for allergic and related reactions to the particular drug classes commonly used in dentistry. The appropriate management of these reactions will also be addressed.
Drug allergy; Drug side effects; Dentistry
Antibiotics play a vital role in dental practice for managing orofacial infections. They are used to manage existing infection and they are also used as prophylaxis for certain medical conditions and surgical procedures. This article will review pharmacological and therapeutic considerations for the proper use of these agents for dental infections.
Antibiotics; Antifungals; Dental infections; Antibiotic prophylaxis
Appropriate preoperative assessment of the dental patient should always include an analysis of the patient's medications. This article reviews the actions and indications for the various categories of antithrombotic medications and considers actual risks for postoperative bleeding and potential interactions with drugs the dental provider might administer or prescribe.
Drug interactions; Drug side effects; Antiplatelet drugs; Anticoagulants; Postoperative bleeding; Dental treatment
Glucocorticosteroids are a product of the adrenal cortex and perform a staggering number of physiological effects essential for life. Their clinical use is largely predicated on their anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties, but they also have notable efficacy in the prophylaxis of postoperative nausea and vomiting. This article reviews the basic functions of glucocorticoids and their clinical use in dental practice.
Glucocorticosteroid; Trauma; Postoperative swelling; PONV; Dentistry; Mucosal lesions
Autonomic drugs are used clinically to either imitate or inhibit the normal functions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. A large number of additional drug classes also interact with these systems to produce a stunning number of possible side effects. This article reviews the basic function of the autonomic nervous system and the various drug classes that act within these neural synapses.
Autonomic drugs; Sympathomimetics; Adrenergic agonists; Adrenergic antagonists; Cholinergic drugs; Anticholinergic drugs
Offices and outpatient dental facilities must be properly equipped with devices for airway management, oxygenation, and ventilation. Optimizing patient safety using crisis resource management (CRM) involves the entire dental office team being familiar with airway rescue equipment. Basic equipment for oxygenation, ventilation, and airway management is mandated in the majority of US dental offices per state regulations. The immediate availability of this equipment is especially important during the administration of sedation and anesthesia as well as the treatment of medical urgencies/emergencies. This article reviews basic equipment and devices essential in any dental practice whether providing local anesthesia alone or in combination with procedural sedation. Part 2 of this series will address advanced airway devices, including supraglottic airways and armamentarium for tracheal intubation and invasive airway procedures.
Airway management; Oxygenation; Ventilation; Equipment; Devices
Local anesthetics have an impressive history of efficacy and safety in medical and dental practice. Their use is so routine, and adverse effects are so infrequent, that providers may understandably overlook many of their pharmacotherapeutic principles. The purpose of this continuing education article is to provide a review and update of essential pharmacology for the various local anesthetic formulations in current use. Technical considerations will be addressed in a subsequent article.
Local anesthetics; Pharmacology; Drug toxicity; Dentistry
Moderate and deep sedation can be provided using several routes of drug administration including oral (PO), inhalation, and parental injection. The safety and efficacy of these various techniques is largely dependent on pharmacokinetic principles. This continuing education article will highlight essential principles of absorption, distribution, and elimination of commonly used sedative agents.
Pharmacokinetics; Drug administration; Sedation
The risk for cardiovascular complications while providing any level of sedation or general anesthesia is greatest when caring for patients already medically compromised. It is reassuring that significant untoward events can generally be prevented by careful preoperative assessment, along with attentive intraoperative monitoring and support. Nevertheless, providers must be prepared to manage untoward events should they arise. This continuing education article will review cardiovascular complications and address their appropriate management.
Medical emergencies; Sedation; Anesthesia; Complications
Nausea, vomiting, and hiccups are troubling complications associated with sedation and general anesthesia. This article will review the basic pathophysiology of these events and current recommendations for their prevention and management.
Nausea; Vomiting; PONV; Hiccups; Anesthetic complications; Antiemetics
A thorough assessment of a patient's medical status is standard practice when dental care is provided. Although this is true for procedures performed under local anesthesia alone, the information gathered may be viewed somewhat differently if the dentist is planning to provide sedation or general anesthesia as an adjunct to dental treatment. This article, the second of a 2-part sequence on preoperative assessment, will address pulmonary and other noncardiovascular disorders.
Preoperative assessment; Medical history; Physical evaluation
A thorough assessment of a patient's medical status is standard practice when dental care is provided. Although this is true for procedures performed under local anesthesia alone, the information gathered may be viewed somewhat differently if the dentist is planning to use sedation or general anesthesia as an adjunct to dental treatment. This article is the first of a 2-part sequence and will address general principles and cardiovascular considerations. A second article will address pulmonary, metabolic, and miscellaneous disorders.
Preoperative assessment; Medical history; Physical evaluation
Nitrous oxide is the most commonly used inhalation anesthetic in dentistry and is commonly used in emergency centers and ambulatory surgery centers as well. When used alone, it is incapable of producing general anesthesia reliably, but it may be combined with other inhalation and/or intravenous agents in deep sedative/general anesthestic techniques. However, as a single agent, it has impressive safety and is excellent for providing minimal and moderate sedation for apprehensive dental patients. To gain a full appreciation of the pharmacology, physiologic influences, and proper use of nitrous oxide, one must compare it with other inhalation anesthetics. The purpose of this CE article is to provide an overview of inhalation anesthetics in general and to address nitrous oxide more specifically in comparison.
General anesthesia; Inhalation anesthetics; Nitrous oxide; Conscious sedation; Moderate sedation
It is impossible to provide effective dental care without the use of local anesthetics. This drug class has an impressive history of safety and efficacy, but all local anesthetics have the potential to produce significant toxicity if used carelessly. The purpose of this review is to update the practitioner on issues regarding the basic pharmacology and clinical use of local anesthetic formulations.
Local anesthetic pharmacology
Moderate and deep sedation can be provided using various classes of drugs, each having unique mechanisms of action. While drugs within a given classification share similar mechanisms and effects, certain classes demonstrate superior efficacy but added concern regarding safety. This continuing education article will highlight essential principles of pharmacodynamics and apply these to drugs commonly used to produce moderate and deep sedation.
Pharmacodynamics; Drug actions; Drug mechanisms; Sedation
Cardiovascular emergencies represent the most feared complications in dental practice. Not only do they present the greatest possibility for morbidity and mortality, but their pathogenesis and treatment are poorly understood. This article reviews fundamental physiologic and pathological concepts that will guide the clinician toward a more cognitive approach to patient assessment and management. The treatment algorithms presented develop rationally from these fundamental scientific principles.
The risk for complications while providing any level of sedation or general anesthesia is greatest when caring for patients having significant medical compromise. It is reassuring that significant untoward events can generally be prevented by careful preoperative assessment, along with attentive intraoperative monitoring and support. Nevertheless, we must be prepared to manage untoward events should they arise. This continuing education article will review respiratory considerations and will be followed by a subsequent article addressing cardiovascular considerations.
Medical emergencies; Sedation; Anesthesia; Complications
The potential for interactions with current medications should always be considered when administering or prescribing any drug. Considering the staggering number of drugs patients may be taking, this task can be daunting. Fortunately, drug classes employed in dental practice are relatively few in number and therapy is generally brief in duration. While this reduces the volume of potential interactions, there are still a significant number to be considered. This article will review basic principles of drug interactions and highlight those of greatest concern in dental practice.
Drug interactions; CYP450; Drug potentiation; Drug synergism
Safe and effective management of acute dental pain can be accomplished with nonopioid and opioid analgesics. To formulate regimens properly, it is essential to appreciate basic pharmacological principles and appropriate dosage strategies for each of the available analgesic classes. This article will review the basic pharmacology of analgesic drug classes, including their relative efficacy for dental pain, and will suggest appropriate regimens based on pain intensity. Management of chronic pain will be addressed in the second part of this series.
Pain management; Analgesics; Postoperative pain; Dental pain
Mild hypothermia is common during deep sedation or general anesthesia and is frequently associated with patient discomfort and shivering. Greater declines in temperature can produce an even greater number of significant detrimental effects. This article reviews principles of thermoregulation and influences of anesthetic agents. An understanding of these will provide a foundation for strategies to reduce heat loss and better manage patient discomfort when it occurs.
Sedation; General anesthesia; Thermoregulation; Hypothermia; Shivering
The American Dental Association and several dental specialty organizations have published guidelines that detail requirements for monitoring patients during various levels of sedation and, in some cases, general anesthesia. In general, all of these are consistent with those guidelines suggested by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force for Sedation and Analgesia by Non-Anesthesiologists. It is well-accepted that the principal negative impact of sedation and anesthesia pertains to the compromise of respiratory function, but attentive monitoring of cardiovascular function is also important. While monitoring per se is a technical issue, an appreciation of its purpose and the interpretation of the information provided require an understanding of basic cardiovascular anatomy and physiology. The focus of this continuing education article is to address essential physiological aspects of cardiovascular function and to understand the appropriate use of monitors, including the interpretation of the information they provide.
Monitoring; Cardiovascular; Electrocardiography; Plethysmography; Blood pressure; Sedation
The American Dental Association and several dental specialty organizations have published guidelines that detail requirements for monitoring patients during various levels of sedation and, in some cases, general anesthesia. In general, all these are consistent with those guidelines suggested by the American Society of Anesthesiologists for sedation and analgesia by nonanesthesiologists. It is well accepted that the principal negative impact of sedation and anesthesia is the compromise of respiratory function. While monitoring per se is a technical issue, an appreciation of its purpose and the interpretation of the information provided require an understanding of respiratory anatomy and physiology. The focus of this continuing education article is to address the physiological aspects of respiration and to understand the appropriate use of monitors, including the interpretation of the information they provide.
Monitoring; Sedation; Capnography; Pulse oximetry
Appropriate preoperative assessment of dental patients should always include analysis of their medications. Psychiatric illnesses including panic/anxiety disorder, depression, psychoses, and manic disorders are prevalent within our society. An impressive number of drug formulations are prescribed for these disorders, and they introduce concern regarding side effects and possible drug interactions with medications the dentist may deem necessary for dental care. This article will address essential pharmacology of these psychotropic medications.
Preoperative assessment; Drug interactions; Drug side effects; Drug toxicity; Psychotropic drugs
Appropriate preoperative assessment of the dental patient should always include an analysis of the patient's medications. Cardiovascular diseases are the most common group of medical disorders that dentists encounter, and the number of drugs prescribed for managing these conditions is staggering. This justifiably raises concern and probable confusion regarding side effects and possible drug interactions with medications the dentist may deem necessary for dental care. This continuing education article is the second in a series that will address essential pharmacology of medications commonly prescribed for chronic medical care. A reasonable understanding of these agents will allow the dentist to better appreciate the medical status of their patients, to appreciate the actual risks associated with antithrombotic medications, and to avoid adverse interactions with drugs the dentist might administer or prescribe.
Preoperative assessment; Drug interactions; Drug side effects; Drug toxicity; Anticoagulants; Postoperative bleeding