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Unit information: Applied Pharmacology: Pain and Anxiety Control - Dental Therapy in 2018/19

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Unit name Applied Pharmacology: Pain and Anxiety Control - Dental Therapy
Unit code DENT10014
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Miss. Susan Vine
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Dental School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


To provide knowledge and clinical skills relating to the delivery of local analgesia. To provide knowledge relating to the pharmacological management of the medically compromised patient.

The unit aims are:

  • To equip the student with the knowledge to link applied pharmacology to clinical practice.
  • To understand the implications of prescribing drugs for patients including the medically compromised patient.
  • To have knowledge of the pharmacological properties of those drugs used in general dental practice, including their unwanted effects.
  • To understand the contraindications for the use of analgesia and anaesthesia.
  • To deliver practical teaching on local analgesia and treatment under conscious sedation.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit the student will be:

  • Familiar with the role of therapeutics in the management of patients requiring medication as an integral part of their oral care.
  • Competent in the theory of administration of local infiltration and inferior dental block analgesia.
  • Familiar with the dental application of drugs in the control of pain and anxiety.
  • Familiar with alternative methods of pain and anxiety control.

Teaching details

  • Lectures
  • Practical Demonstrations
  • Video
  • Small group teaching

Assessment Details


2 hour written essay paper on LA techniques and equipment. Pass mark is 50%.


Continuous assessment in clinical reporting and practical delivery of local anaesthetic during patient treatment sessions. Regular review meetings with students and staff ensure progress and development are monitored.

Reading and References

Pharmacology and Dental Therapeutics (3rd Edition), Seymour/Meecham/Yates, ISBN: 01926 29522

Applied Pharmacology for the Dental Hygienist (3rd Edition), Requa-Clark/Holroyd, ISBN: 08151 72338

Practical Dental Anaesthesia, J. Meecham, ISBN: 08509 70513

Introduction to Local Anaesthesia, Hans Evers/Glen Haegerstam, ISBN: 28823 90133