Many of the patients that enter a dental office seeking treatment will have conditions requiring one or more forms of medication. Most older patients will be taking regular medications to manage chronic illnesses. It is recognized that patients now survive for longer with chronic illness and in doing so, accumulate further chronic conditions, requiring further medications - either prescribed or over-the-counter or both. In addition, they may take herbal remedies or use dietary supplements to manage real or perceived problems. Some may present using one or more types of chemical assistance. All of these substances have the potential to interact with medications that you may prescribe and/or administer. They, or the diseases that they are being used to treat or manage, may have direct or indirect impacts on dental treatment. Therefore, a knowledge of these medications, the underlying medical conditions, and how they may influence what you do in your daily working life is essential for the effective and safe treatment of your patients. This ITI Online Academy Learning Pathway will review basic concepts of pharmacology: the study of how these chemicals affect the body and how they potentially interact with other substances that may have been co-administered.
On completion of this Learning Pathway you should be able to:
define the terms used in pharmacology
list the common medications that your patients may be taking
recognize the risks associated with medications being taken by your patients
describe the potential impacts these medications may have on the treatment that you provide