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  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assistants
Hours: 1 Contact Hour
  • Jason H. Goodchild, DMD
  • ​Mark Donaldson, BSP, RPH, PHARMD, FASHP, FACHE
Peer Reviewer(s): Joseph Best, DDS, PhD
Item#: L0714
Contents: 1 Course Book (42 pages)
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Three Drug Classes Every Dentist Should Know: Antibiotics, Analgesics, and Local Anesthetics - Module II: Analgesics

Price $9.95
Item # L0714
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: September 14, 2015

Expiration Date: September 13, 2018




Oral healthcare professionals (OHCPs) are routinely involved with the selection and prescription of analgesics to address orofacial pain. Pain has both physiological and psychological components, and an experience of poorly managed pain related to dentistry can lead patients to avoid or postpone treatment, making these patients more difficult to treat and less likely to comply with prescribed regimens.  Oral medications administered postoperatively that reduce pain improve clinical outcomes, making them an integral part of dental practice.  Analgesic medications in dentistry are indicated for the relief of acute pain, postoperative pain, and chronic pain, and for controlling adjunctive intraoperative pain (pain not associated with the dental procedure).  In addition, these medications can be given preoperatively (preemptively) to mitigate both postoperative pain and postoperative pain medication requirements.  Overprescription practices and inappropriate prescribing in certain medical and dental pain situations has fueled the growing tragedy of prescription drug abuse.  Most states have created prescription drug monitoring programs, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continue to closely monitor prescribing practices while tightening regulations around the prescribing of pain medications.
This intermediate-level course reviews the pharmacology of analgesic agents and updates the participant on current guidelines and therapeutic choices in order to optimize analgesic prescribing practices.  It also discusses the differences among analgesics typically prescribed for orofacial pain.  Along with this, the course also addresses the selection and timing of appropriate medications for special populations including the pregnant and breast-feeding patient, and patients with significant allergy histories.  Since the goal of analgesic therapy is to assure selection of the right drug at the right time and at the right dose, for the right patient and the right procedure, this course presents information that should be considered essential for all OHCPs, both seasoned and newly credentialed. 

AGD Subject Code: 344


Western Schools designates this activity for 1 continuing education credit.


This course is an extraction of, and should not be taken in conjunction with, Three Drug Classes Every Dental Professional Should Know: Antibiotics, Analgesics, and Anesthetics (L0726)


Course Objectives

  • Describe the types and pathophysiology of orofacial pain.
  • Differentiate among the pharmacotherapies for nociceptive orofacial pain.
  • Distinguish among the pharmacotherapies for neuropathic orofacial pain.
  • Identify the currently available adjuvant pharmaceuticals for orofacial pain. 
  • Select appropriate analgesics for special populations.

Jason H. Goodchild, DMD, is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He received his dental training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, where he now holds a faculty position as a clinical associate professor in the Department of Oral Medicine. He is also assistant professor in the Division of Oral Diagnosis in the Department of Diagnostic Sciences at the New Jersey Dental School. Dr. Goodchild has published numerous articles on the topics of enteral sedation, oral medicine, and pharmacology. He has been an invited speaker for the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Association of Dental Examiners. He is a reviewer for the Journal of the American Dental Association, General Dentistry, and Quintessence International. He has also served as a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Goodchild also maintains a private dental practice in Havertown, Pennsylvania.

Mark Donaldson, BSP, RPH, PharmD, FASHP, FACHE, received his baccalaureate degree from the University of British Columbia and his doctorate in clinical pharmacy from the University of Washington. He has further completed a residency at Canada’s largest tertiary care facility, Vancouver General Hospital, and is the current Director of Pharmaceutical Services at Kalispell Regional Healthcare. Dr. Donaldson is a clinical professor in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Montana in Missoula and clinical associate professor in the School of Dentistry at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. He has a special interest in dental pharmacology and has lectured internationally to both dental and medical practitioners. Dr. Donaldson has a number of published works in the peer-reviewed literature and has co-authored textbook chapters. He spent three years in Japan focusing on cross-cultural communication and internationalization. He currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of the American Dental Association, is board certified in healthcare management, and is the president of the American College of Healthcare Executives’ Montana Chapter.

Joseph Best, DDS, PhD, is a 1989 graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry (MUSOD) and a part-time faculty member at the dental school in the division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He is the course director for the Medical Emergencies and Pharmacotherapeutics courses at MUSOD and lectures extensively in pharmacology, medicine, oral surgery, and implant dentistry, both at the dental school and in regional continuing education programs. Dr. Best received his PhD in pharmacology and a certificate in oral and maxillofacial surgery from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and maintains a private practice with Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Waukesha in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He is also a certified basic life support instructor for the American Heart Association.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.