EMERGENCY TREATMENT FOR ORAL DISEASES
The dentist is responsible for all patient diagnosis
and treatment. Certain circumstances may warrant
that you, the Dental Technician, provide emergency
dental treatment to a patient. An example might be
when one of the following circumstances occur:
You are standing duty Dental Technician
watchThere is no dental officer aboard the
dental clinic, the hospital, the ship, or the Fleet
Marine Force where you are stationed.
A mass casualty situation has occurredThe
dental officer may be involved with the
treatment of more serious medical injuries.
Always contact a dental officer if an emergency
occurs. The dentist will indicate the treatment plan and
authorize you to perform treatment. You may provide
temporary treatment that provides relief from pain,
combats infection, or prevents further damage to the
oral structures. Always instruct your patient to come to
dental sick call the next day, or make an appointment in
the dental specialty for which you have treated him or
her. Advise your patient to keep the appointment even
if the symptoms of the condition disappear. Follow
any command or department instructions on patient
Oral conditions are discussed in terms of
symptoms and signs. A symptom is what a patient
tells you about his or her disease or injury (for
example, this person tells you of a toothache or sore
gums). A sign is what you observe when you examine
the oral structures (for example, bleeding gums,
carious lesion, or heavy deposits of plaque or
Certain emergency guidelines have been
established to assist you in providing emergency
treatment to your patients. In all these conditions, you
should follow the emergency guidelines listed below:
Check the patients general physical condition.
Question the patient and record any symptoms.
Review patients health history.
Examine the patient and record signs, including
the vital signs. Also check for other injuries if
trauma has been found.
Consult with the dentist and report the patients
Request instructions from the dentist.
Follow the treatment plan exactly.
Record the emergency treatment provided on the
Health Record, Dental, SF 603. Use the standard
operating procedures (SOP) format discussed in
Dental Technician, Volume 2, NAVEDTRA
12573, chapter 2, Oral Examination.
Advise the patient the treatment provided is
temporary and to return for definitive treatment.
DISEASES OF THE TISSUES OF THE
An important part of your job as a Dental
Technician is the ability to recognize diseases of the
tissues of the teeth. We will discuss some of these
diseases in the paragraphs that follow as well as give
symptoms that will help you recognize these diseases.
Dental caries still occur in the majority of the adult
population. The most common cause of dental caries is
bacterial plaque, which we discussed in chapter 5.
Caries begin in the enamel, appearing as a chalky
white spot. If the lesion progresses, it will continue
into the dentin and eventually involve the pulp.
The patient may complain that the affected tooth is
sensitive to hot and cold (usually cold), sweets, and
pressure to biting.
Sometimes the pain from an