Why does my dentist ask about my medical history every time I go in?
You will be aware that every time you visit us, we ask you “any change to your medical history”? Often, the reply is “you asked me last time”.. even if that was only a week before.
The forms can vary from dental practice to dental practice but what they have in common is that they often cause irritation to patients. We want to reassure you that these forms are important, so please take your time and consider your responses when filling them in.
The main aim from the time you walk through our door is to treat you safely.
To allow our team to treat you safely we will always request that you tell us about your medical history, any medication you may be taking and whether anything has changed medically since the last time you visited.
You will see many questions on our medical history questionnaire. This includes any medical issue that has affected your whole body – not just your mouth or from your neck upwards.
You may think but why? Why does my heart affect what the dentist does? But there are many reasons we must know your history.
- if you have a pacemaker fitted, we have equipment that can interfere with it working correctly so when a patient with a pacemaker attends, we must turn some of our machines off. So,make sure you always tell the team.
If you have osteoporosis, you may be put on a medication called bisphosphonates. A group of drugs used to limit the loss of bone density in conditions such as osteoporosis and bone cancer.
Now for us, this is vital to know if you need a tooth taken out because this can cause problems with healing, so always tell the team. Bear in mind that they will have different trade names, normally a GP will tell you to advise your dentist.
- If you have been placed on blood thinners. This would affect your blood clotting times and put you at higher risk with extractions
- Some medications have reactions with local anesthetics, so it is vital to keep us up to date
- There is also some medication that can affect your oral health by reducing saliva flow, resulting in more dental decay risk.
*When we say medication this includes the contraceptive pill, inhalers, antibiotics, , over-the-counter medication, and recreational drugs. Certain medications can affect your dental health and the treatments available to you, as well as affecting the way other medications work*
Other things we need to know to help protect you in our care
- Do you have any allergies at all? And we mean ALL.
- Are you diabetic? We would need to treat you around your mealtimes to make sure you are at safe levels
- Do you suffer from epilepsy? If so, the team needs to know so that they can have the appropriate drugs on hand, should you have an episode during treatment. Epileptic patients find that they are more likely to suffer fits when they are stressed or anxious.
- Are you or could you be pregnant?
- No matter how early it is in your pregnancy it is very important to tell the team. We will always aim to leave any treatment until after the birth. We will also refrain from taking x-rays.
- During pregnancy, some women find that their gums bleed and require closer attention this is something we will monitor
We hope that this goes some way to explaining why it is so important for you to keep us up to date with changes to your medical history.
The door to Boundary Implant center is always open to new patients. Please give our friendly team a ring for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.