Anaphylaxis is an acutely presenting life-threatening medical emergency. Surveys indicate that dentists feel inadequately able to recognize and treat anaphylaxis. This paper reviews the terminology and pathophysiology of anaphylaxis, and describes the recognition and initial management of anaphylaxis for dentists. Dentists should be able to administer intramuscular adrenaline during anaphylaxis at the appropriate dose. The role of further medical care is also explained. Six cases of anaphylaxis arising from dental oral maxillofacial surgery practice are discussed.