Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
DH 229
Course Title:
Local Anesthesia
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers techniques of pain control by the administration of local anesthetics. Prepares student for management of complex clinical clients during advanced dental hygiene procedures.

Addendum to Course Description

The student will develop competence and confidence in her/his ability to ensure that the client remains comfortable during dental hygiene treatment.  Lab skills will be learned during established clinic sessions; Tuesdays, weeks 3,5,7 during a 4-hour clinic session.  Tuesdays. weeks 4,6,8 will be a 75 minute practice clinic session. 

Certain states have different requirements for local anesthesia licensure; it is the student's responsibility to ensure that their own individual needs (regarding numbers of specific injections given, etc) are being met for other state's licensure.

Intended Outcomes for the course

  1. Students will administer local anesthesia to dental hygiene patients in a safe and effective manner.

  2. Students will satisfy state/regional requirements for anesthesia licensure.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Demonstrate, for an instructor, the correct techniques for the administration of local anesthetics including effective infection control and safety procedures.

  • Successfully complete weekly quizzes.

  • Complete a clinical final examination by administering the PSA and IA injections in a safe and effective manner.

  • Complete a written final exam covering all aspects of local anesthesia administration.

  • Complete a written paper on supplemental injection techniques.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Review of anatomic landmarks

  • Pain recognition and treatment

  • Pain perception and reaction, sodium pump, nodes of Ranvier and impulse transmission.nerves.

  • Clinical actions of anesthetics and vasoconstrictors.

  • Local and systemic complications following dental injection

  • The pre-anesthetic assessment/evaluation.

  • Neurophysiology, pharmacology and the clinical actions of dental anesthetics and vasoconstrictors.

  • Techniques for maxillary and mandibular anesthesia

  • Alternate techniques for dental specialties.

  • Legal issues

  • History of anesthesia


  1. Identify the anatomic features of the head and neck that are landmarks for anesthesia administration.

  2. Identify the branches of the trigeminal nerve that are involved in dental anesthesia.

  3. Describe the characteristics of various kinds of pain and the neuro-physiology of impulse transmission.

  4. Demonstrate the correct preparation, use and care of the anesthesia armamentarium.

  5.  Demonstrate the correct technique for administering the following injections: middle superior alveolar, anterior superior alveolar, posterior superior alveolar, inferior alveolar lingual, long buccal, nasopalatine, and greater palatine, as well as the use of such products as the Dentipatch..

  6. Explain the systemic diseases that impact the administration of dental local anesthetics and the steps involved in conducting pre-anesthetic evaluation.

  7. Identify the local and systemic complications associated with the administration of dental local anesthetics and how they are recognized, treated, and prevented.

  8. Explain the chemical doses, indications, and contraindicataions of the vasoconstrictors and anesthetics used in dentistry.

  9. Describe variations in the administration of local anesthetics in the various dental specialties.

  10. Identify the legal issues involved in the administration of local anesthetics.