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Emergency Medicine Part 1: Prevention
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Updated for 2018
This course describes the most common medical emergencies occurring in the dental environment and describes the steps necessary to prevent their occurrence: the medical history questionnaire, monitoring of vital signs; dialogue history, and the stress reduction protocol. A physical evaluation system is introduced.

Learning Objectives:

  1. List the most common medical emergencies occurring in the dental environment
  2. List the 5 components of physical evaluation of dental patients
  3. List the 4 vital signs
  4. Describe the A.S.A. physical status classification system
  5. Provide examples of ASA 1, 2, 3, and 4 medical problems
  6. List the 8 components of the Stress Reduction Protocol
  7. Define the goal of physical evaluation


Medical emergencies can, and do, happen in the dental environment. Approximately 75% of these can be prevented through physical evaluation of the prospective dental patient, using a systematic review of the patient’s medical history and recording of vital signs. Assigning an ASA Physical Status can help to distinguish those patients who represent greater-than-usual risk during the planned dental treatment. The Stress-Reduction Protocol can then be utilized to minimize this risk.


  1. Medical emergencies in dentistry
    1. What happens?
    2. When do they happen?
    3. Can they be prevented?
  2. Prevention of medical emergencies
    1. Medical History Questionnaire
    2. Dialogue History
    3. Physical evaluation
      1. Vital signs
        1. Blood pressure
        2. Heart rate & rhythm
        3. Respiratory rate
        4. Height
        5. Weight & BMI
        6. Body temperature
    4. Risk Status Classification
      1. American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status
    5. Classification System
    6. Stress-reduction protocols


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