Preparing For Medical Emergencies During Dental Procedures

Sarah Fuller 30 Mar , 2021 0 comments Blog

Dental appointments continue to be stressful for some patients and increase the possibility of medical emergencies during dental treatments. Dentists must learn more about the different risky situations and prepare to provide reliable care for their patients. International students planning to study dentistry in Canada can undertake dental emergency courses as part of the special scholarships. The University of Guelph and Waterloo have created these scholarships to honour the students who lost their lives in the passenger jet shot down in Iran last year. You can check out more here about the other Canadian passengers who were killed when travelling back after the holidays.

Medical Complications During Dental Treatments

Every dentist strives to provide timely delivery of quality and preventive care to their patients. Even though the incidence of a complication during dental procedures is low, the increase in at-risk persons seeking dental care increases proportionately the situations that threaten patients’ physical well-being.

What Is Syncope?

Studies indicate that syncope is the most common medical emergency reported by dentists in the United States and Canada. Inadequate blood supply to the brain leads to syncope, a temporary loss of consciousness. Commonly known as fainting or passing out, this condition can be harmless or maybe an indication of a serious medical problem. Emotional stress or pain during the dental procedure can trigger increased blood pressure and decrease the brain’s oxygen supply, causing the patient to faint.

Diagnosing A Medical Emergency Post Dental Surgery

When confronted with an emerging medical incident, the dentist can follow the below procedure to identify the issue’s severity.

  • Measure responsiveness of the patient to see if they are alert and awake or disoriented.
  • If they are not responsive, monitor the airway to check if anything is obstructing airflow.
  • Check vital signs until the emergency response team arrives to increase the chance of survival.

Common medical emergencies in the dental office are asthma attacks, fainting, allergic reactions, stroke, cardiac arrest, etc.

Prevention Of Medical Incidents

Dentists need to have the abilities and expertise necessary to evaluate patients’ mental and physical capacity to undergo and adapt to dental care. Identifying patients who may be at-risk during dental treatments can help them prevent potential medical risks. The staff should also be trained to know what to do and how to respond when such incidents happen. Though it is difficult to avoid medical emergencies, the team needs to be educated and prepared to handle anything that might arise. Every dental office should have basic emergency drugs and equipment. Conducting periodic drills is necessary to ensure that the dental team knows all the procedures.

Diagnosing the correct medical emergency and providing proper treatment is utterly important for dentists to ensure their patients’ safety. Being aware of the possible incidents that might occur will help them recognize factors that cause such issues and prevent their occurrence. With proper training and preparation, the dental team can identify the signs early and seek the emergency response team’s help to protect their patient.

Written By Sarah Fuller

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