Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Toggle Member Links
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share
Pharmacotherapeutics for Dental Practitioners: Local Anesthetic Agents
CE Credit(s):
Member Price:
Retail Price:
Open Tabs

Updated in 2018

Introduce evidence-based information that will help with the selection of the most appropriate local anesthetic agent for the management of pain in the perioperative period.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course the practitioner should be able to:

  1. Discuss the basic mechanisms of acute pain
  2. Discuss the pharmacology of  local anesthetic agents
  3. Discuss factors to be considered in the selection of a local anesthetic agent
  4. Discuss potential adverse drug events associated with the use of local anesthetic agents


 The most common complaint causing a person to seek the services of an oral health care provider is pain. Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Proper management of pain requires an understand¬ing of its complexity, an appreciation for the factors that determine its expression in the clinical setting, sound pharmacological strategies (local anesthesia) during the perioperative period, and implementation of  disease-modifying procedures (primary dental care).


  1. Introduction
  2. Physiology of pain
    1. Activation of acute pain pathways
    2. Intrinsic modulation of nociception
    3. Role of the higher CNS in pain
  3. Pharmacology of local anesthetic agents
  4. Therapeutic considerations
    1. Topical anesthetic agents
    2. Lidocaine hydrochloride
    3. Mepivacaine hydrochloride
    4. Prilocaine hydrochloride
    5. Articaine hydrochloride
    6. Bupivacaine hydrochloride
  5. Adverse drug events
  6. Conclusion


Related Courses:


More from the ADA: