UW School of Dentistry

OS 532

Sedation and Pain Control

O. Ross Beirne

2 Credits / Quarter 9 (Autumn, Third Year)

Course Description

Techniques of sedation (e.g., oral, inhalational, intravenous) and acute pain control.

Educational Objectives

The student will gain knowledge in the principles of sedation and acute pain management. Objectives of the course include an understanding of (1) the pathophysiology of acute orofacial pain, (2) the peripheral and central nervous system mechanisms that mediate acute pain, (3) the psychological impact of dental fear and how to recognize it, (4) the continuum of depressed levels of consciousness (e.g., conscious sedation, general anesthesia), (5) the physiology and pharmacology of sedatives appropriate for dentistry, (6) the criteria used for selecting appropriate dental patients for sedation, (7) sedation techniques and physiological monitoring of the sedated patient, (8) sedation emergencies and their management.

Course Outline

Lecture topics include: the neurobiology of acute pain, the psychology and physiology of dental fear, psychological and physiological assessment of dental patients to be sedated, the pharmacology and physiology of sedatives commonly used in dentistry, the use of inhalational agents (i.e., nitrous oxide) to reduce anxiety, the use of oral medications to produce sedation, physiological monitoring of the sedated patient, and managing sedation-related emergencies.

Course Expectations

To successfully meet the requirements of this course, the students must attend all lectures and the practical session. Students must also demonstrate their knowledge of the lecture arterials by accumulating sufficient points in the midterm and the final examinations. Effective Winter Quarter 2007, completion of on-line course evaluation is a requirement of this course. Failure to comply will result in an “Incomplete” grade being assigned.

Competencies Addressed

  • UWSOD Competency 1: Examine a patient using contemporary diagnostic methods to evaluate the head and neck region and to reach a diagnosis of the patient’s oral and craniofacial health status.
  • UWSOD Competency 5: Recognize the limits of their expertise and seek consultation with other health care providers to facilitate patient care.
  • UWSOD Competency 6: Manage acute and chronic orofacial and dental pain.
  • UWSOD Competency 9: Manage medical emergencies in dental practice by providing basic life support.
  • UWSOD Competency 22: Utilize critical thinking in assessing technical and scientific information for use in identifying patient needs and treatments.
  • UWSOD Competency 25: Manage a diverse patient population and have the interpersonal and communication skills to function successfully in a multicultural work environment.

*last updated: 11/7/2011