Drugs Used in Dentistry

4 Contact Hours

Course Outline

1. Analgesics

  • Pain Control
  • Analgesic Agents
  • Nonopioid Analgesics
  • Aspirin and Related Salicylates
  • Aspirin in dentistry
  • Adverse effects
  • Acetaminophen
  • Analgesic Alternatives to Aspirin and Acetaminophen
  • Adverse effects
  • Opioid Analgesics
  • Morphine
  • Tolerance and dependence
  • Codeine
  • Principles of Opioid Analgesic Use
  • Adverse Reactions of Opioids
  • Combinations of Peripherally Acting Analgesics and Opioids

2. Anti-anxiety Drugs

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Pharmacologic effects
  • Adverse reactions

3. Autonomic Nervous System Drugs

  • Cholinergic Agents
  • Anticholinergic Agents
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Drugs
  • Adrenergic Drugs
  • Adverse effects
  • Adrenergic Blocking Drugs

4. Local Anesthetics

  • Anesthetics in Surface Applications
  • Benzocaine
  • Tetracaine hydrochloride

5. Recentry-Approved Dental Drugs

6. References

7. Post-Test

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:


  1. Define pain and provide an understanding of pain management.
  2. State and dispel three misconceptions about pain.
  3. List four factors that lower the patient’s pain threshold and two that raise it.
  4. Compare and contrast the nonopioid and opioid analgesics with respect to the following:
    • Site of action
    • Mechanism of action
    • Efficacy
    • Addiction and tolerance
    • Toxicity
  5. List 3 categories of nonopioid analgesics and various drugs within each category.
  6. State and describe three major effects and four other effects of aspirin.
  7. Name the therapeutic uses of aspirin.
  8. Distinguish between psychologic dependence, physical dependence, tolerance and pseudoaddiction.
  9. Illustrate the stepwise approach for the management of pain as recommended by the World Health Organization.
  10. Outline the principles of proper analgesic use.
  11. Discuss 5 adverse reactions of opioids.

Autonomic Nervous System Drugs

  1. Explain the function of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
  2. Describe the action of vasoconstrictors.
  3. List the duration time of local anesthesia when combined with various concentrations of epinephrine.
  4. Describe the precautions that a dentist should take with patients taking adrenergic blocking agents.

Anti-anxiety Drugs

  1. Describe the pharmacologic effects of benzodiazepines.
  2. List at least 9 adverse side effects of benzodiazepines.
  3. Identify 4 categories of anti-anxiety agents and various drugs with their nonproprietary and proprietary names within each category.

Local Anesthetics

  1. Describe 3 advantages of vasoconstrictors added to local anesthetic solutions.
  2. List 3 adverse reactions of local anesthetic agents and 3 precautions to take to avoid them.

Recently-Approved Dental Drugs

  1. List 4 new dental drugs approved by the FDA and describe their application in dentistry.