ADAA View Course


Local anesthesia is the mainstay of modern dental practice, with patients demanding better and more painless dental procedures. Even though local anesthesia was introduced to the dental profession more than one hundred years ago, today’s options for anesthetizing specific sites in the mouth have become more varied, with dental professionals having many more options to ensure the comfort and safety of their patients. Today’s local anesthetics employ a cartridge, needle and syringe. The syringe is reusable, while the cartridge and needle are single use.  Because an estimated 300 million anesthetic cartridges are used each year, it is critical to have a broad knowledge of the wide variety of products available, correct techniques for using them, and how to manage reactions or emergency situations.

Dental auxiliaries have an important role in assuring the comfort and safety of dental patients before and after administration of local anesthesia to patients within a dental practice. This course is intended to provide dental professionals with basic knowledge on local anesthesia.


Margaret I. Scarlett, DMD, is an accomplished clinician, scientist, and lecturer who retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after 23 years of federal service. She is a past author and editor of several dental publications, and a past president of the American Association of Women Dentists. As an innovator, including writing the very first 1986 CDC infection control guidelines for dental health-care workers, she continues to explore new and better ways to deliver prevention, care and treatment of the oral cavity. She consults on intraoral health and primary care and is a leading dental expert in infectious and chronic diseases and systemic-oral health issues.


Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

• Briefly describe the historical background of local anesthesia for use in dental procedures.
• Be familiar with the anatomy of the oral cavity and the methods for administering local anesthesia.
• Understand the importance of a patient’s medical history.
• Understand the importance of recognizing medical complications and managing emergencies.
• List the different types of anesthetics and their usage.
• Demonstrate proper loading and unloading of the anesthetic syringe.
• Discuss the regulatory issues as they apply to local anesthesia.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.

This course has been produced in part by a grant from the American Dental Assistants Association Foundation.


If the participant has concerns about the presentation, please contact our Education Department at  If the participant has questions on how to view the presentation, please contact Tech Support at

To proceed with this course please click on the "Register" link.

You need to be logged in to register for a course. Please Click here to log in or create an account
Return to "My Courses"