Podcast: Tom Viola tackles today's biggest pharmacology controversies

Tom Viola, RPh.
Tom Viola, RPh.

One of the reasons why Tom Viola, RPh, captured this year's honor as Dental Educator of the Year from DrBicuspid.com readers is that he never shies away from tackling the tough topics involving pharmacology and its impact on dentistry.

That willingness to talk authentically about tough topics that impact every dentist and dental team member continued on the most recent episode of the "Dental Assistant Nation" podcast series, where I asked Viola a very simple question: What are the things that you get the most questions about during your lectures?

Those questions can quickly turn into controversies, and that's where this episode of the "Dental Assistant Nation" podcast picks up. In the episode, which you can listen to by clicking the Play button below, recorded shortly after the Chicago Midwinter Meeting following a gathering where I heard Viola speak to a packed room, Viola and I discussed various topics related to dental pharmacology, including controversies surrounding antibiotic prophylaxis and self-medication.

Viola emphasized the importance of taking an accurate medical history and the role of dental assistants in obtaining this information. He also highlighted the influence of "Dr. Google" and the need for effective communication within the dental practice.

In an era where dental patients are often on various medications to help them have a better life, this episode is a must-listen. Viola and I discussed how the health history form may be more valuable today than ever before and so much more.


  • Dental pharmacology is becoming increasingly important due to the rising complexity of patients' medical conditions.
  • Controversies exist in dental pharmacology, such as antibiotic prophylaxis and self-medication.
  • Dental assistants play a crucial role in obtaining accurate medical history and should be empowered to ask the right questions.
  • Effective communication within the dental practice is essential for ensuring patient safety and providing quality care.


0:00 -- Introduction and congratulations on winning the Cuspie's Dental Educator of the Year award
1:48 -- Tom Viola's lectures at Chicago Midwinter
3:14 -- Controversies in dental pharmacology
5:39 -- Self-medication
8:15 -- The influence of Dr. Google
9:53 -- The role of dental assistants in obtaining an accurate medical history
11:13 -- Encouraging patients to disclose medications
12:13 -- The importance of communication in the dental practice
13:33 -- Recognizing the value of dental assistants
16:29 -- Upcoming speaking engagements and conclusion

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