Morton Rosenberg, DMD, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery and head of the anesthesia and pain control division at [removed]Tufts University School of Dental Medicine[/removed], provides updated emergency preparedness guidelines for orthodontic and dental providers in the current issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association. Rosenberg integrated existing guidelines with new information to create an updated list of emergency medications and equipment for orthodontic and dental providers, including an emergency preparedness checklist.

"Every dentist will likely manage a medical emergency during the course of their practice. Planning for such an emergency involves preparing and educating clinical staff, ensuring that medical equipment is accessible and functional, and stocking emergency medications," said Rosenberg, who also co-authored the textbook Medical Emergencies in Dentistry.

Rosenberg advises that specific medications be stocked and regularly checked to ensure they have not exceeded their expiration dates, including oxygen, epinephrine, nitroglycerin, glucose, and reversal drugs. In addition, orthodontic and dental offices should have an automated external defibrillator and a portable oxygen delivery system.

The checklist also details the appropriate administration of medication and uses of equipment based on medical emergencies including allergic reaction to medications, hyperventilation, or heart attack.

"Emergency preparedness includes adequate training so that dentists and staff respond reflexively to an emergency situation and facilitate better diagnosis and care of the patient," said Rosenberg.