Pharmacology is a basic medical science that deals with the study of drugs. Drugs are chemical compounds used in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and other abnormal conditions. This chapter covers some of the drugs used in dentistry.
As a Dental Technician, you will be required to assist in procuring, labeling, and storing drugs. You must also be aware of what drugs the dental officer prescribes and uses during dental procedures. Certain drugs and medicines used in dentistry have side effects on patients, which could turn into a possible medical emergency. Misused or mislabeled drugs can also present a real hazard to your patient's safety. You must have full knowledge of what drugs and medicines are being used in your clinic, hospital, or department. Only authorized personnel should prescribe, dispense, and administer drugs and medications. The Manual of the Medical Department, chapter 21, gives guidance on pharmacy operation and drug control.
Many textbooks are available that describe commercially available drugs used in dentistry and medicine. They provide standards for drugs of therapeutic usefulness and pharmaceutical necessity, and also list composition, action and use, administration and dosage, precautions and side effects, dosage forms available, and common (generic) name of the drugs. Your command library is required to have these textbooks available for use.
The quantity of a drug to be prescribed at one time or the total quantity administered and method of administration of drugs are dependent on several factors. This section will cover some of the methods of administering and some of the factors affecting dosage calculations that a dental officer will use.
The amount of medication to be administrated is referred to as dose. Doses are listed as an average therapeutic dose and are known as "usual adult doses." The following terms are used in connection with doses.
The therapeutic dose is also referred to as the normal adult dose, the usual dose, or average dose. It is the amount needed to produce the desired therapeutic effect.
Dosage range is a term that applies to the range between the MINIMUM amount of drug and the MAXIMUM amount of drug required to produce the desired effect. Many drugs, such as antibiotics, require large initial doses that are later tapered to smaller amounts. A TOXIC dose is the amount of drug that will produce symptoms of poisoning; while a MINIMUM LETHAL dose is the least amount of drug that can produce death.
DOSAGE With the administration of medicines used in dentistry, the dental officer must consider many factors with each patient that affects the dose, method of administration, and frequency of the dose. Although a dental officer prescribes or administers the amount to be given, you need to know how and why these quantities are determined. Two primary factors determine or influence the dose: age and weight.
Age is the most common factor that influences the amount of a drug to be given. Infants, children, and elderly patients are more susceptible to drug action and as a general rule, should receive smaller doses than others.
In the calculation of dosages, weight has a more direct bearing on the dose than any other factor, especially in the calculation of pediatric doses.Continue Reading