Dental emergencies guidelines for dental society offices

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CDA’s Code of Ethics states that member dentists have an obligation to make reasonable arrangements for the emergency care of their patients of record. CDA’s component dental society offices are in an excellent position to provide valuable guidance and assistance to patients who do not have a dentist of record, or whose dentist of record is not available, and who contact the dental society with an urgent condition. CDA offers the following guidance for component offices when handling calls:

Managing Dental Emergency Calls When the Office Is Open

Managing Dental Emergency Calls After-Hours

  • When a caller contacts the dental society office outside of working hours, the dental society should have an answering machine/voicemail message that provides options for assisting the caller should he/she report a dental emergency.

  • The after-hours message should provide the office’s normal operating hours and indicate that the office can assist the caller during those hours. Further, the message should encourage the caller to go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center if they believe their condition requires immediate attention and/or call 911 if they are experiencing a life-threatening emergency.

August 2009

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