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Unit information: Local Anaesthesia in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Local Anaesthesia
Unit code ORDSM0031
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Ms. Khayatt
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Dental School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This Unit of Teaching will be offered as an Optional Unit as part of a modular distance learning programme. The programme will allow students to build Certificate, Diploma or Masters level qualifications by combining optional 20 credit units.

The Local Anaesthesia Unit has the following three Elements and their general aims are: -

Element 1: Armamentarium for administration of local anaesthesia

a. Equipment

To provide students with a knowledge of the delivery systems and equipment available to deliver local anaesthesia

b. Clinical Pharmacology of Local Anaesthetic agents

To review and update students’ knowledge of the pharmacology of local anaesthetic agents and vasoconstrictors used in clinical dental practice. To provide students with the underpinning knowledge to provide safe and effective operative pain control during clinical dental practice

Element 2: Advanced Clinical Techniques

To introduce students to advanced local anaesthetic techniques including the use of alternative inferior alveolar nerve block techniques and the use of computerized delivery systems

Element 3: Prevention and Management of Complications of Local Anaesthesia

To provide students with the underpinning knowledge to prevent and manage overdose of local anaesthesia, failed anaesthesia and local complications.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will obtain a knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • the advantages and disadvantages of local anaesthetics commonly used in clinical dentistry.
  • the techniques for producing safe and effective anaesthesia for operative dental procedures.
  • the principles of management of failed local anaesthesia.
  • how to prevent overdose of local anaesthetic agents
  • how to manage overdose of local anaesthetic agents
  • the local and systemic complications of local anaesthetic administration and their prevention
  • the local and systemic complications of local anaesthetic administration and their prevention

The student will acquire the skills and attributes necessary for:

  • the administration of the Akinosi and Gow Gates inferior alveolar nerve block techniques
  • the administration of local anaesthetic agents using computer controlled delivery systems
  • the administration of periodontal topical anesthetic preparations
  • to manage failed local anaesthesia

Teaching details

Teaching will use a blended learning approach delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. Students will be expected to engage with all learning.

A range of teaching are used in the unit including:

  • Self directed CAL sessions
  • Seminars with videos
  • Medical simulator session
  • Reflecting writing

Assessment Details

Assessment Details This Unit will have the following summative assessments: - 1. Written assignment (20%) 2. Written assignment 2 (20%) 3. Assessment of the management of a simulated complication of local anaesthesia (Must Pass) - This assessment is included as it is a professional requirement that dentists are required to be able to manage the complications of the drugs they administer 4. A final written examination comprising an MCQ paper and a Multiple Short Answer paper of 2 hours' duration (60%) All assessments must be passed ≥ 50% and there is no compensation between the individual assessments.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ORDSM0031).