Why Medical History Is Important In Dentistry

Personal medical history form for dentist appointment
If you’re making the move to a new dental office, that means you’re also going to be tasked with filling out a new patient form that will ask a bunch of questions. One of those questions will be about your medical history and if you have any medical conditions the dentist should know about. Some patients may not feel comfortable disclosing this type of information depending on the health conditions they’ve had, but it’s a very crucial matter for any dental practice to know for a few different reasons we’ll outline below.

Why You Need To Share Medical Information With Your New Dental Care Team

Providing a thorough medical history to your dental office is of utmost importance, especially if you’re taking certain medications, have certain medical conditions, or are pregnant. Why? Because certain medications and conditions can directly affect and pose a higher risk to your dental treatment.

Taking Blood Thinners

Just because you’re on blood thinners does not mean you can’t receive dental treatment, it just means your dentist will have to proceed with caution, especially regarding oral surgery. Because blood thinners help prevent blood clots from forming, this can also cause issues with blood forming at the surgical site. However, you should never stop taking your medication before the procedure. Dentists can control bleeding in the office and monitor your health and also offer the proper aftercare instructions following your operation to control bleeding or when to seek help.

Medical history form with glasses and stethoscope on top

High Blood Pressure

Dentists cannot perform dental procedures on patients who are experiencing a systolic blood pressure greater than 180 or diastolic blood pressure greater than 109. This is why you’ll notice your dentist or dental hygienist checking your blood pressure first before resuming treatment, even if you’re just there for a routine checkup. This is because if your blood pressure is too high, there is an increased risk of heart attack or stroke during treatment.

Pregnancy

Yes, you can still go to the dentist whilst pregnant, however, it’s important to disclose this information so they are aware of any prescription drugs or prenatal vitamins prior to beginning your treatment. Any oral surgery will also have to wait until after you’ve had your baby. X-rays may also need to be completed in a different manner such as shielding your abdomen.

Did you know that pregnancy hormones can increase your risk of gum disease? If you’ve already shown signs before becoming pregnant of gum disease, your dentist may want to check on your teeth and gums more frequently to ensure any dental problems are dealt with in a safe and timely manner.

Diabetes

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it’s important to effectively manage your blood sugar levels, otherwise, you are more prone to experiencing dental health complications such as tooth decay, gum disease, and dry mouth. In order for your dentist to provide you with the best care possible, you should always let them know about your diabetes and that it’s under control and monitored regularly.

Allergies

Patients have many different kinds of allergies, but no matter what they are, even if you think they’re not relevant to your dentist, you should always disclose that type of information in your medical history. Perfect examples include:
Experienced dentist reviewing medical history form with colleague

Your Health History Allows Your Dentist To Provide Safe & Effective Dental Treatment

Your oral health is directly linked to your general health, therefore, if it’s not maintained properly, you’re going to experience dental issues that will negatively affect your teeth and overall health. This can be resolved by ensuring you’re filling out your medical history properly or disclosing any important information during your dental exam. This is of utmost importance if you’re taking certain medications or have specific health problems like heart conditions or high blood pressure.

Why Medical History Is Important In Dentistry 1
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