You may have wondered what might happen if you have a non-dental emergency during your dental treatment, especially if you have anxiety about visiting the dentist (which is very common). Fortunately, non-dental emergencies are not a common occurrence. In fact, fainting is the most common emergency. Other more serious emergencies like allergic reactions, hyperventilation, seizures, cardiac arrest, and insulin shock rarely occur. According to a 2007 survey of over 4,000 dentists, just 7.5 emergencies occurred per dentist over a 10-year period. Despite the rarity, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs recommends that all dental offices are fully stocked with the following equipment and drugs in case an emergency occurs:
- First-aid kit
- EpiPen® (epinephrine injection) for allergic reactions
- BENADRYL® for allergic reactions
- Nitroglycerin for heart attacks or chest pain
- Asthma inhaler to relieve an asthma attack
- Glucose tablets for diabetic coma or hypoglycemia
- Aspirin to thin the blood in case of heart attack
- Automated external defibrillator (AED) for cardiac arrest
While dental offices are highly encouraged to have these materials, they are not required by law. If you have a particular health concern, ask your dentist if he or she has a medical protocol and an emergency kit with the items listed above. Staff members should also be CPR certified. Fast response can be critical in an emergency situation, so if you think you may be at a high risk, inform your dentist and consider switching if they do not seem prepared. You can also ask your dentist to check your pulse and blood pressure periodically as a precaution. One of the best things you can do for yourself and for your peace of mind at the dentist’s office is to communicate your health history and any concerns you may have before your treatment begins.
The staff at Dr. Jamie Sands’ office is highly trained to be able to handle emergency situations and has the equipment and medication on hand to meet those needs. The goal is to make every patient as safe and as comfortable as possible at each visit.
If you are interested in general or cosmetic dental services offered by Dr. Jamie Elizabeth Sands, please schedule an appointment by calling (818) 306-5153 or by filling out our online contact form today.