• Basic life support (BLS) training;
  • dentist and medical emergency situations;
  • dentists and medical history


The aim of the study is to determine whether in Belgium dentists feel confident to diagnose a medical emergency situation in their dental practice.


A questionnaire was completed by 7.0% of the active Belgian general dental practitioners (n = 548) including questions on the frequency and knowledge of medical emergency situations in the dental office, history of dental training to treat emergency situations and confidence level in treating emergency situations.


A medical history of each patient was taken by 55.3% of the dentists. A link was found between years since graduation and the systematic decline of a medical history in a new patient (P = 0.001): the older the dentist, the less consistent was the updating of medical history. Almost 50% of the dentists (49.4%) never participated in any basic life support (BLS) training during their undergraduate education. Moreover, 78.3% never had any paediatric BLS training during undergraduate education and BLS training after graduation was lacking by 37.2% of the dentists.


Knowledge of BLS should be fundamental to medical professionals. The more BLS training a practitioner has experienced, the more self-secure they feel coping with an emergency situation.