These agents are grouped according to their duration of action. They depress
the activity of the brain, producing sedation and sleepiness. (An example of a
barbiturate is phenobarbitol.) Possible problems associated with the use of barbiturates
are psychic and physical dependence, interactions with other medications, and
accidental or intentional overdosage.
3-20. TRANQUILIZERS (ANTIANXIETY AGENTS)
Tranquilizers (antianxiety agents) are used to relax and calm a patient without
depression of mental faculties or clouding of consciousness (see the appendix).
Examples of tranquilizers used include hydroxyzine hydrochloride (Vistari) and
3-21. TOPICAL ANTISEPTICS-GENERAL
Topical antiseptics are agents that stop or inhibit the growth of microorganisms
without necessarily killing them. Topical antiseptics are applied to the oral mucosa for
the control of minor infections and to root canals during endodontic therapy (see the
3-22. COMMON TOPICAL ANTISEPTICS
a. Sodium Hypochlorite. This solution, because of its solvent action on pulp
tissue and organic debris, is often used for the irrigation of root canals.
b. Iodoform. Gauze and ointments impregnated with iodoform are used as
c. Hydrogen Peroxide (3%). This solution is used as a cleansing agent for
suppurating (pus-producing) wounds and inflamed mucous membrane. It has some
d. Phenol. Phenol was once used extensively for disinfection of the prepared
tooth cavity prior to insertion of a restoration. Today, it is used in root canal therapy and
as an antiseptic in mouthwashes. An example is camphorated parachlorophenol
e. Eugenol (Oil of Cloves). Eugenol is a topical antiseptic and pain reliever.
When mixed with zinc oxide, it is used as a temporary restoration.