An earlier paper by Becker and Reed provided an in-depth review of the pharmacology of local anesthetics. This continuing education article will discuss the importance to the safe and effective delivery of these drugs, including needle gauge, traditional and alternative injection techniques, and methods to make injections more comfortable to patients.
Local anesthetics; Dentistry; Techniques; Needle gauge; Warming; Buffering; Novel 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 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
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
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
The use of dynamic electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring is regarded as a standard of care during general anesthesia and is strongly encouraged when providing deep sedation. Although significant cardiovascular changes rarely if ever can be attributed to mild or moderate sedation techniques, the American Dental Association recommends ECG monitoring for patients with significant cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this continuing education article is to review basic principals of ECG monitoring and interpretation.
Electrocardiography; Patient monitoring; Continuing education
To prevent patient pain, the clinician may chose from opioid and nonopioid analgesics. It is rational for the practitioner to combine drugs from these classes when managing moderate to severe pain. To select combination regimens wisely, it is necessary to understand the significant pharmacological features of each category alone. Careful selection of an effective analgesic regimen based on the type and amount of pain the patient is expected to have can prevent the stress and anxiety associated with breakthrough pain. The clinician can and should develop a variety of effective, safe analgesic regimens, based on estimates of anticipated pain intensity that use sound pharmacological principles.
Opioids; Nonopioids; Pain management; Continuing education