Why Does a Dentist Need to Know Your Medical History?

Why Does a Dentist Need to Know Your Medical History

If you have been visiting your dentist regularly, you might be familiar with the procedure of duly filling a medical history questionnaire before you meet the dentist. A medical history questionnaire is a holistic list of open and close-ended questions. For some, you can tick yes or no, and for others, you need to answer in detail.

But has it ever occurred to you to ask the purpose of filling this form? Why does your dentist need to know about your general health? If you know it or have already asked your dentist about it, we are sure you are helping your dentist by filling up every detail. But in case you haven’t asked it yet, we are here to help satiate your curiosity about a medical health questionnaire.

Here are the reasons why your dentist needs to know your medical history.

1. Helps Design a customised dental treatment plan

If you have read a medical history form thoroughly, you must know that it contains questions about the symptoms that you are currently experiencing. Questions about the conditions that you suffer from and whether you snore while sleeping, in the medical history questionnaire at Healthy Smiles Dental Group, helps determine our dentists the condition that is ailing you.

2. Better knowledge about your dental history

Knowing about your dental history can help dentists determine the nature of your oral and dental health. For example, if a patient has had a history of tooth decay, the dentists can now treat it and suggest you ways to minimise it over time. Or if a patient has undergone teeth whitening in the past, the dentist can now select a teeth whitening option based on this data.

3. Determine any special conditions

Before proceeding with any dental treatment, it is advisable to know about any of the following special conditions.

  • Dental anxiety: Some people might be experiencing mild to severe dental anxiety. This might even be the very first time that they are visiting a dentist. Although our dentists at Healthy Smiles Dental Group are quite friendly, knowing about a patient’s phobia in advance can help our dentists take steps to make these special patients feel comfortable. For example, we can suggest sleep dentistry in order to make them feel at ease with the environment.
  • Allergies: Allergies can be faced in many forms. Contents such as aspirin, iodine, etc. may induce allergic reactions in patients. It is always advisable to let your dentist know about these or any other forms of allergies that you must make sure your dental treatment does not include them.
  • Diseases: Your overall health plays an important role in deciding the course of your dental treatment. Diseases such as diabetes, thyroid, etc. might delay your healing capacity. Neurological diseases might make it difficult for you to get anaesthetised. Dentists must know about your general health and diseases before carrying on with a dental procedure.

4. Helpful for deciding the medicine

Dentists do ask questions about the medications that you are taking. This may also include natural supplements for any nutrient. This is a piece of crucial information for two reasons.

One – it lets the dentist know whether the complaints you have with your oral health have risen from your medication. For example, many patients taking medications for diabetes experience dry mouth as a side effect. Therefore, your dentist will check for any other oral conditions responsible for causing a dry mouth. If none is found, you may simply need to drink more water or ask your doctor to suggest you a substitute if things are unbearable.

Two – it helps the dentists ensure that the contents of the medicine you are taking do not contradict with those that you need to take for a dental issue.

5. Comply with Australian Dental Regulations

Being a dentist in Australia, every dentist needs to comply with the Australian Dental Regulations. It states that dentists need to update a patient’s medical history every 12 months. Therefore, you are asked to fill this form at least once a year. Some dentists may ask you to provide those details more frequently, such as every time you visit them. This is a good practice, ensuring a holistic approach towards dentistry, taking decisions based on the general health of the patient.

6. Gives you some time to think

You may be asked these questions in person too, but when filling up a form, you are in no hurry to answer. You are given all the time you need to think about your symptoms and the medications that you are taking. It so happens that people tend to forget about their medications when asked orally. Some people can also be hesitant to discuss everything. While writing up a few details or ticking up a few boxes is always easier.

7. Knowing your habits

Habits related to food consumption and lifestyle affect the health of your teeth a great deal. If a person is used to smoke or drink alcohol, or have late-night sugary snacks, which is deteriorating their teeth, the dentist might suggest you quit those habits.

Healthy Smiles Dental Group is in line with government policies and makes sure the medical history of a patient is thoroughly known to provide with the best dental care possible. Visit our Blackburn clinic for complete dental care or call us on 03 9877 2035 for more information. You can fill our Medical History Questionnaire and book an appointment online also.

Dr. Ved Berani

Author: Dr. Ved Berani

Dr. Ved Berani, a second-generation dentist and the principal dentist at Healthy Smiles and Sleep Dream Smile, shows great pride in his work by helping his patients achieve cosmetic and aesthetic results all while utilising sleep dentistry and sedation.

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