The following publications contain complete information on drugs, to include
properties, actions, uses, average doses, dangers, and precautions. These are
normally available for your reference in Army dental clinics.
a. Physicians' Desk Reference to Pharmaceutical Specialties and Biologicals.
b. The Merck Index of Chemicals and Drugs.
Section II. COMMON DRUGS
A variety of drugs and chemicals are used in dentistry to aid in the diagnosis,
treatment, and prevention of dental diseases. The appendix provides a listing of drugs
that are commonly used in dentistry. It is recommended that you learn the
characteristics of the approximately 35 drugs listed.
a. General Anesthetics. General anesthetics are agents that produce a loss of
consciousness, a loss of sensation throughout the body, and a reduction in muscular
activity. They are used almost exclusively either as an inhalation anesthetic (such as
ether, nitrous oxide, or Ethrane) or as an intravenous anesthetic (such as sodium
pentothal). General anesthesia is used to perform certain oral surgical procedures and
to treat patients who can be best managed in the hospital environment.
b. Local Anesthetics. Local anesthetics are agents that reduce pain and
sensation in a localized area of the body without loss of consciousness. This is
accomplished by interfering with the transmission of a nerve impulse to the brain. The
injectable local anesthetics are supplied in 1.8 cc cartridges, while the topical
anesthetics are usually provided as ointments, gels, or liquids/sprays. When local
anesthetics are used during treatment, the name and amount of the agent used is
always entered on the Dental Health Record, SF 603. Local anesthetics used most
Lidocaine hydrochloride (Xylocaine).
Mepivacaine hydrochloride (Carbocaine).