Tag Archives : medical emergencies in dental office


How do you handle a medical emergency in your practice?

When I speak to Doctors and staff about their emergency preparedness I generally will receive one of two responses. The first is that THEY would never experience a medical emergency and the second is that they are close to an emergency response facility and therefore they don’t have anything to worry about. The average dental practice will experience four emergencies a year. That equates to 150,000 medical emergencies in dental practices each year. As the commander in chief of your office, have you considered your response? For the vast majority of dentists, the answer would be no. To adequately prepare your team, a simplistic approach is the best. Three actions steps that will provide you the most consistent preparation results involve your medical history, emergency drug kit and staff training. First, review your medical history and honestly ask yourself if you are able to receive accurate information from your patient. If the answer is no, consider customizing one. This can be easily accomplished, even with a “canned” form from your software. Second, reorganize your drug kit to include only the items you are qualified to use. Label each drug with its function and directions for use. Third, delegate specific roles to three key staff members and practice! You should also include the script for a 911 call as part of your training.

If you would like a program customized for your office, contact me. Implementation of state of the art training is not an arduous process! The investment of time required will be nominal in comparison to the peace of mind you’ll provide your staff..and ultimately your patients..


Do you offer oral cancer screening to your patients?

Most recently I have been utilizing the VelScope for intra oral cancer screenings. I am blown away by this amazing morsel of technology! The ease of use of the scope is exceeded only by the fantastic response to add a screening to a “routine” cleaning appointment. I have also ordered Oral CDX kits to obtain cells from any suspicious lesions!

Please stay tuned from my upcoming video on the proper use of a VelScope and Oral CDX biopsy brush.
If you’re uncertain whether you should include this service in your practice, I can only recommend that you utilize this amazing technology!


A few days ago, I was watching my favorite network, “The Food Network” and I saw an amazing commercial that was both educational and frightening. What I observed was a commercial for a drug called Xarelto. The drug is purported to be a suitable pharmaceutical treatment  used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation that is not caused by a heart valve problem. My concern is the commercial sounded more like an infomercial, designed to entice those patients that are currently taking Warfarin. The reality is that there is a limited amount of information on how Xarelto compares to warfarin in reducing the risk of stroke. Xarelto is also used to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. It has been found helpful in the prevention of future occurrences of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. An additional indication for its use is a reduction of  the risk of clot formation in the legs and lungs of patients that have recently had hip or knee replacement surgery.

After having seen the commercial a few times, I realized that commercial advertisement of this drug is designed for two purposes: the first is to educate consumers that are currently taking Warfarin that a suitable replacement may be suitable for them. A second purpose is begin the grass-roots level of education that must occur as a new drug is being introduced and prescribed.

My concern is that as dental providers we must remain abreast of introduction of new medications that may affect our dental treatment. It remains our responsibility to be knowledgable in the uses, indications and contra-indications of this drug. It should also be understood that new drugs are continuously introduced that will affect our dental treatment.

Please take a look at the prescribing information for Xarelto. To stay abreast of constantly changing medications, consider the addition of an app like Micro-Medix or Medscape. They are both free and can be downloaded to your smart phone, iPad, tablet and P.C. I consider both of these as wonderful resources, each has benefits and disadvantages, but they are wonderful adjuncts.


What can your role as a Dentist be in diagnosing Sleep Apnea?

How many times have we examined patients that fit the same physical profile: high blood pressure, overweight, apparent lack of good quality saliva, readily visible periodontal disease and obstructed airway? Then upon further questioning when you ask them if they have experienced morning headaches, irritability throughout the day, heartburn, insomnia and rapid weight, they will […]


When is a Doctor-patient relationship established?

When we are evaluating a patient’s health history, there are many factors that we are assessing. But it is imperative to understand one thing: we must be certain we are willing to establish a relationship with each and every patient before we begin treatment. Once we have performed dental services, there is a Doctor-patient relationship. […]


Can you communicate with physicians?

When I am asked by my colleagues to assist them in designing a “Medical Clearance Form”, the first thing I want to help them understand is that it is an impossibility to request a health care provider to “release” us from making the most sound, informed decisions for our patients. As Dentists, we alone are […]


How do you learn best?

After teaching many Dentists and their staff to recognize and manage medical emergencies, I have begun to see a consistent trend. The majority of my clients have their “ah-ha” moments when they see the videotapes we create of their training. I believe that in order to have a firm grasp on emergency principles, it is […]


Have you dreamed of being in the Movies?

How do you learn the best? Is it by reading, listening or watching? Most of us learn by a combination of the three. I have found that many of the Dentists I work with have benefited greatly from recording their emergency practice drills. We create a video to reenact each scenario and then review it […]