PDF: Medical Emergencies in the Dental Office - Barry Krall DDS


The main emphasis in the management of medical emergencies in the dental office is preparation.


It has been said that “If you are prepared for the emergency, the emergency ceases to exist”. How true that is! The atmosphere surrounding an emergency situation can be stressful and emotionally charged.


A well thought out emergency plan, implemented in advance, can reduce the stress associated with the emergency to manageable levels. 

The well prepared team almost seamlessly goes through the prepared algorithm attending to each step before moving on to the next phase of care.


The question arises as to how often life-threatening emergencies occur in the typical dental office setting? McCarthy estimates that one or two treatment related deaths will occur over the practice lifetime of the typical dental practitioner.

He further estimates that the number of office-related deaths would increase to five if dental patients were observed for seven days following treatment.



The ADA council on Scientific Affairs Statement and the ADA/PDR Guide to Dental Therapeutics gives the following guidelines to prepare the dentist for the inevitable emergency. 



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