Self-Medication and Substance Abuse: Clinical Dental Considerations
  • Friday, February 16, 2018 
  • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The registration period has closed for this event.


THOMAS VIOLA, R.PH., C.C.P. is a board-certified pharmacist who also serves the professions of dentistry as a clinical educator, professional speaker and published author, in the areas of oral pharmacology and local anesthesia. Tom is a member of the faculty of ten dental professional degree programs and has received several awards for outstanding teacher of the year. Tom is well known nationally and internationally for his regular contributions to several dental professional journals. Through his informative, humorous and engaging live seminars and webinars, Tom has earned his reputation as the go-to specialist for making pharmacology practical and useful for all members of the dental team.

Course Details



Armed with limited, and often biased, information and faced with rising prescription drug costs, our patients continue to self-medicate with a variety of prescription and non-prescription drug products. Many patients add or substitute prescription and non-prescription drug products in their medication regimen, unaware of potentially serious adverse outcomes, and often without mention during a review of their medical history. This program will provide participants with an overview of the dental considerations of the most popular prescription and non-prescription drugs and supplements patients use to self-medicate, Using case scenarios, special emphasis will be given to techniques useful in successfully identifying self-medication and obtaining a complete patient medication history.




It's a fast-paced world and, unfortunately, many of our patients seek the assistance of substances to cope and get through their busy, trying days. However, the use and abuse of both illicit and licit substances has the potential to produce systemic adverse reactions and life-threatening medical emergencies during dental treatment. This program will provide participants with an overview of the most common substances of abuse, along with their potential contraindications to dental therapy and the resulting necessity, if any, for dosage modifications of commonly used dental drugs. Using case scenarios, special emphasis will be given to developing patient management strategies and treatment planning techniques essential for successfully identifying and delivering proper care to our substance-abusing patients.

Learning Objectives


  • Identify the most commonly used prescription and non-prescription drugs, herbal and nutritional supplements patients use to self-medicate
  • Describe the illicit and licit uses of these products and their clinical dental considerations
  • Discuss techniques useful in identifying self-medication and for obtaining a complete and accurate medical history
  • Discuss the strategies necessary for successfully managing self-medicating patients


  • Discuss the impact of substance dependence and abuse on dental therapy and overall patient health
  • Identify the most common licit and illicit substances of abuse and dependence and discuss:
    • Street names
    • Forms and routes of administration
    • Common adverse effects and oral manifestations
    • Dental treatment considerations
  • Understand techniques useful for identifying and addressing substance dependency
  • Discuss strategies necessary for successflly managing substance-abusing patients

CE Credits

Lecture: Credit Hours - 6

AGD Code: 010


This course includes 1 Hour of Opioid Risk-Managment Credit.

Course Fee

$295 (Dentist)

$95 (Staff)




Tufts Dental School

1 Kneeland St
Boston, MA 02111

Click here for directions

About Us


Tufts University, School of Dental Medicine is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. Approval Date 11/15-12/19.


We may be reached by email at, and by phone at 617-636-6629.

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