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Supporting Your Practice

Angina and Its Implications for Dentists and Dentistry

Dr. PJ Murphy

In this latest in a series of discussions on medical conditions and their implications for dentists and dental treatment, Dr. John O’Keefe, Director of Knowledge Networks CDA, asks Dr. PJ Murphy, UBC Dentistry, to walk through the management of an angina attack in the dental office.

Dr. Murphy outlines typical demographic profiles in the presentation of angina in both men and women. He explains the difference between stable and unstable angina, and offers informed advice on what to do if an attack occurs when a patient is sitting in your chair.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the conversation:

  • Typical demographic is males over 50 with metabolic syndrome and/or underlying cardiovascular risk, and females post-menopause.
  • Presentation often differs between male and female patients. Men tend to suffer classic heart symptoms such as radiating chest pain, while women may just feel nauseous and fatigued.
  • Stable angina can be prevented/treated in practice by taking adequate precautions:
    • Stress reduction protocols
    • Profound local anesthesia (2-3 carpules of Lidocaine 2% with 1:100,000 epinephrine)
    • Nitroglycerine at the ready
  • If an angina attack occurs, a maximum of 3 doses of Nitroglycerine can be given in 5 minute intervals. If the attack does not resolve, or if it deviates from its normal presentation, call 911.

We hope you find the conversation useful. We welcome your thoughts, questions and/or suggestions about this post and other topics. Leave a comment in the box below or send us your feedback by email.

Until next time!
CDA Oasis Team

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