Medical and Dental History
Taking a comprehensive medical and dental history and noting not only contraindications to dental treatment but also previous medical and psychological experiences that can precipitate a medical emergency is important. This alerts the clinician and staff to any precautions or preparations that need to be taken to avert and manage an emergency. For example, a diabetic patient may not only have compromised healing but may undergo a hypoglycemic incident because of low blood glucose level due to not eating or excessive stress before and during treatment. Patients and parents of pediatric patients with previous negative dental experiences may develop syncope prior, during, and post-treatment due to anticipated or unanticipated discomfort, the sight of dental instruments, or upon seeing blood drenched gauze. The patient’s medical problems and related potential emergency situations should be noted in a prominent location in the patient’s chart so staff can prepare the necessary emergency drugs and equipment prior to seating the patient.