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Medical Emergencies

Hundreds of thousands of patients safely see their dentist every day. However, emergencies can happen anytime, anyplace—and the dental office is no exception.

As health professionals, dentists are trained in school to handle medical emergencies. Continuing education courses are available to help them review and remain current with responses to emergencies in the office.

You play an important role in helping your dentist deliver the safest possible care. Always tell your dentist about any health conditions you or your child may have including allergies, asthma, diabetes or other trouble maintaining blood sugar levels, blood pressure or heart problems, or any other medical condition, even if it seems unimportant or unrelated to dental care.

Your dentist may use or prescribe a number of medications as part of your treatment so it is important that he or she know about any medications you or your child are taking. This includes both prescription and non-prescription drugs. You also should tell your dentist if you are taking any vitamins or supplements. Emergencies aren’t planned events, but handling them can be. If you have concerns about medical emergencies in the dental office, talk to your dentist. He or she can explain the preparations made for dealing with the unexpected.

Be sure to talk with your dentist about how to properly secure and dispose of any unused, unwanted or expired medications, especially if there are any children in the household. Also, take the time to talk with your children about the dangers of using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.