Although uncommon, pediatric medical emergencies can occur in the dental office. When they do happen, they happen quickly without warning and with possible dire consequences. A child’s under-developed physiology coupled with small oxygen reserves requires early recognition of the problem and swift definitive treatment.

Since adults accompany the pediatric patient to the dental office there is a strong possibility, although the child is the one receiving dental treatment, it’s the accompanying adult that presents with the emergency. Although the primary focus of this course is the pediatric dental patient, adult medical emergencies will also be addressed.

The dentist’s successful management of medical emergencies requires preparation, prevention and knowledge of definitive management not just by the dentist but by all dental staff.