In this course, students will be presented with methods of pharmacologic management of pain and anxiety. It is presented as essentially two separate sections: 1) anxiety control with nitrous oxide sedation and 2) pain control with analgesic.
Anxiety control encompasses current pharmacologic management in anxiety control for dentistry. This section of the course focuses on the techniques that a general practice dentist can provide in an office setting. The methods of anxiety reduction and sedation that will be presented were selected on the basis of efficacy and safety. Inhalation sedation (nitrous oxide) techniques are covered in depth. Sedation and general anesthesia with respect to the role of the dental anesthesiologist is described. Pediatric management techniques are not covered. Pain control encompasses an introduction to prescription writing and establishes prescribing protocols for both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and opioid analgesics. Often pain medications are prescribed to the dental patient in an empirical sense; the goal of this portion of the course is to impart a clinical rational for prescribing pain medications. A method is established so that the student can make a therapeutic choice based on the needs of the patient and contemporary dental practice. A focus is placed with respect to drug diversion and responsible opiate prescribing. Atypical analgesics for oral-facial neuropathic pain will also be presented. This course includes lectures and class discussions.