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  • Dentists
  • Dental Assistants
  • Dental Hygienists
Hours: 1 Contact Hour
  • Jason H. Goodchild, DMD
  • Mark Donaldson, BSP, RPH, PharmD, FASHP, FACHE
Peer Reviewer(s): Joseph Best, DDS, PhD
Item#: L0725
Contents: 1 Course Book (36 pages)
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Three Drug Classes Every Dentist Should Know: Antibiotics, Analgesics, and Local Anesthetics - Module III: Local Anesthetics

Price $9.95
Item # L0725
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: February 17, 2016

Expiration Date: February 16, 2019


Oral healthcare professionals (OHCPs) are routinely involved with the selection and administration of local anesthetics to address patient discomfort during dental procedures. Patient discomfort as it relates to orofacial pain has both physiological and psychological components. Unfortunately, an experience of discomfort related to dentistry can lead patients to avoid or postpone treatment, making these patients more difficult to treat and less likely to comply with future appointments or oral healthcare treatment planning. Local anesthetics administered preoperatively help mitigate pain and improve patient comfort as well as clinical outcomes, making them an integral part of dental practice. The variety of local anesthetics available, whether as a plain solution or combined with a vasoconstrictor, offer unique pharmacological properties allowing the practitioner to tailor the individualized therapy and match the best drug to the specific patient and clinical situation.

The majority of dental pain or discomfort is acute in nature and typically accompanied by tissue injury or inflammation. While this pain can resolve spontaneously once the underlying cause is definitively treated (i.e., inflamed pulp, carious lesion, or abscessed gingiva), a pharmacological approach to pain management is considered the standard of care. Local anesthetics administered preoperatively help mitigate pain and improve patient comfort to allow for the dental procedure to proceed. Excellent intraoperative pain control with the appropriate selection and dose of local anesthesia, especially when combined with excellent postoperative analgesic medication selection will enhance successful outcomes for both the OHCP and patient.

This intermediate-level course reviews the pharmacology of local anesthetic agents and presents current guidelines and therapeutic choices to optimize prescribing practices.  Because the goal of local anesthetic therapy is to ensure selection of the right drug at the right time and at the right dose, for the right patient and the right procedure, the information presented in this course should be considered essential knowledge for both seasoned and newly credentialed OHCPs.


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 evolution and pharmacology of local anesthetics.
  • Explain the types of local anesthetics used in dentistry.
  • Explain the vasoconstrictors present in local anesthetics.
  • Identify the signs and symptoms of local anesthetic toxicity and the maximum recommended doses.
  • Identify the appropriate local anesthetics 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 position as a clinical associate professor in the Department of Oral Medicine. He is also an 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
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support
  • 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
  • There are no prerequisites for this course