Keeping Your Patients Comfortable
Oral health professionals who put patient-centered care first may find the “art of anesthesia” to be a straightforward concept. Patient-centered care seeks to deliver therapy that is humane and characterized by good communication and shared decision-making—thus, the focus is person-centered. The Commission on Dental Accreditation standards emphasize the importance of educational processes and goals for comprehensive patient care, and encourage patient-centered approaches in teaching and oral healthcare delivery. All team members involved in the delivery of care are expected to develop and implement practices, operations, and evaluation methods so that comprehensive, patient-centered care is the norm.
Proficiency in local anesthetic injections can be learned in part through education and literature, but experience is equally important.
Consistently successful injections are rooted in a thorough understanding of the patient’s anatomy.
The application of a topical anesthetic prior to injection may be helpful in sensitive patients.
There is great benefit to having multiple options and tools in the pain management armamentarium and the art of dental anesthesia is grounded in complexity.
For the patient who wants to return to work at normal capacity (ie, no feeling of numbness or speech dysfunction), phentolamine mesylate (PM) has been studied to help in the reversal of soft tissue anesthesia.
According to the manufacturer, PM is a vasodilator and should be given in which ratio in comparison to the original anesthetic that was delivered at the beginning of the appointment?
A comprehensive medical and dental history will identify if the patient has history of orthognathic surgery or trauma affecting the position of the condyle or compromising the deposition site of the injection.
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