DATE: Sunday, January 10, 2021

TIME:  Lecture: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Pre-registration is recommended; registrations can be completed the morning of the class.  

LOCATION: Online course format via Zoom

TUITION: $195 DDS / $145 AUX

CREDIT: This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 7 units of continuing education.

AGD Code: 340

Thomas A. Viola, RPh, CCP

Board-certified Pharmacist
Founder of "Pharmacology Declassified"

Morning Session - Management of acute dental pain and appropriate opioid prescribing


Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Management of acute odontogenic pain is accomplished through a clinical approach that successfully incorporates both opioid and non-opioid analgesics. However, moderate to severe dental pain often occurs well after office hours and away from our immediate supervision. Thus, it is critical for clinicians to be able to accurately identify a patient's need for pain control, develop an individualized pain management plan and assess the efficacy of analgesic agents employed. This program will provide strategies for effectively managing dental pain with opioid and non-opioid analgesics and analgesic adjuvants, while also mitigating associated risks. Special emphasis will be given to appropriate practices for prescribing analgesics as well as identification and treatment of opioid analgesic abuse.


  • Understand the pharmacology and mechanism of action of opioid and non-opioid analgesics, as well as their potential for abuse. 
  • Identify the intended roles of these analgesics in the treatment of acute dental pain, as well as situations which may preclude their use.
  • Discuss best practices for prescribing opioid analgesics as part of an individualized patient pain management plan.
  • Describe techniques useful in recognizing and identifying potential addiction as well as avoiding potential drug diversion.
  • Learn current protocols for the management and treatment of opioid addiction.
  • Examine guidelines for proper storage and disposal of unused dosages.

Afternoon Session - Self-Medication: Dental Considerations and Patient Care Planning


What is your patient NOT telling you about what is in their medicine cabinet?
Armed with limited information and faced with rising prescription drug costs, many patients self-medicate with prescription and OTC drug products. Often this is not mentioned during their exam and review of their medical history. Unfortunately, this may put patients at risk for potentially serious interactions and adverse outcomes. This program provides participants with an overview of the dental considerations of the most popular prescription and non-prescription drugs and supplements which patients use to self-medicate. Special emphasis will be given to techniques useful in successfully identifying self-medication and obtaining a complete patient medication history.


  • Identify and evaluate the potential considerations and impact on dental therapy from self-medication with:
    • Prescription and over-the-counter drugs
    • Herbal and nutritional supplements
    • Licit and illicit substances
  • Learn techniques for successfully recognizing and managing self-medicating patients 
  • Discover effective communication strategies for obtaining a complete medical history

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