I have long been an advocate for packing a dental kit in your first aid kit. You never know when a filling is going to come lose or cavity is finally going to become painful, and oral pain can ruin a hike or vacation. The Emergency Dentistry Handbook, however, is written like most medical texts and is not intended for someone who has little or no medical training to just page through and be able to treat major dental problems. In my opinion the author, Met Clark’s intended audience is those who have medical knowledge and are looking to have a dental reference to keep on hand to cover their bases.
The Emergency Dentistry Handbook is an in-depth look at procedures that can be completed in remote areas to not only treat dental emergencies but also provide basic routine dental care. Having said this, it is also quite possible that the detail of this book is over the head of someone who does not have substantial medical training. The steps of the procedures and directions assume the medic or consumer reading the book and treating the patient can not only obtain many of the controlled substances needed for the procedures but also has the appropriate training to safely administer them. For example: The author describes several procedures and suggests that the reader should anesthetize the patient. Often 1% or 2% Lidocaine is suggested, and while I doubt that anyone would argue that the idea of administering Lidocaine is a good idea (in most cases) the fact of the matter is, it requires the prescription of a Physician or Dentist to obtain medication and the syringes used to apply it. There is a good reason for this; the likelihood that Lidocaine will cause complications is minimal, but knowing what those complications might be and how to treat them is essential.
In my years in college, Graduate school, and medical school I have read more than a couple medical textbooks and if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading a medical text let me tell you how it typically goes: First, there is a section describing the suspected disease or ailment. Then, there are details about what the patient might be feeling or reasons that a patient might have this disease in the first place. Next, is a section on specific tests or procedures the physician might do to confirm that the patient does, in fact, have the disease that is suspected. The next section details treatments for the disease.
Usually the medical texts will not go into details about specific treatments, like medications. The texts will list medications that should be used but not their side effects or interactions. The physician is expected to either know all aspects of the medications or know where to find them. This is how the Emergency Dentistry Handbook is set up.
In conclusion, the Emergency dental handbook is an excellent source for someone who has a medical background and wants some dental knowledge. This is not an entry level book. It would be great for medical personnel who are heading out on a medical mission and want a quick reference for patients with dental issues.
The 71 page, soft cover Emergency Denistry Handbook is available for only $10.00 direct from Paladin Press.