UW School of Dentistry

OS 520

Local Anesthesia

John Evans

2 Credits / Quarter 6 (Winter, Second Year)

Course Description

Local Anesthesia: Pharmacology, Anatomy, Techniques and Clinical Practice

Educational Objectives

The student will gain knowledge and skills necessary for the administration of local anesthesia. The student to be able to (1) describe the enervation of the oral-facial region, (2) describe other associated anatomic structures, (3) describe the physiology of nerve conduction, (4) describe the pharmacology of local anesthetics, (5) describe and demonstrate the common techniques of local anesthesia delivery, and (6) describe the most common potential emergencies associated with the administration of local anesthesia and the basic treatment appropriate to those emergencies.

Further, the student will (7) understand the standards of care associated with the planning and administration of local anesthesia as well as his/her professional and ethical obligations to patients in need of localized acute pain control.

Course Outline

Lecture topics include: spectrum of pain and anxiety control; patient evaluation, pharmacology of the various local anesthetics and associated vasoconstrictors, physiology, and anatomy of oral-facial sensory nerves, and the techniques, problems, and complications involved in administering local anesthetics to a broad spectrum of patients with various clinical needs. The diagnosis and treatment of emergencies associated with the administration of local anesthesia will be discussed.

Competencies Addressed

  • UWSOD Competency 6: Manage acute and chronic orofacial and dental pain.
  • UWSOD Competency 22: Utilize critical thinking in assessing technical and scientific information for use in identifying patient needs and treatments.

Course Expectations

To successfully meet the requirements of this course, the student must demonstrate his/her understanding of the lecture topics and supplemental readings through a series of quizzes and a comprehensive final examination. Students must attend classes and clinic sessions and complete a clinical competency assessment in local anesthesia technique.

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.


  • Handbook of Local Anesthesia, S. F. Malamed, 5th ed., Mosby
  • Local Anesthesia (Syllabus), OS 520

*last updated: 11/7/2011