The risk for complications while providing dental procedures is greatest when caring for patients having significant medical compromise. It is comforting that significant adverse events can generally be prevented by careful preoperative assessment, along with attentive intraoperative monitoring and support. Nevertheless, the office team must be prepared to manage untoward events should they arise. This continuing education article will address basic emergency drugs that should be available in all dental practices and additional agents that become essential for those practices providing various levels of procedural sedation or general anesthesia.
Medical emergencies; Sedation; Anesthesia; Complications
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
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
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
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