February 6, 2017
Have you ever complained when the receptionist hands you a health history update? I’d like to take a few minutes to discuss the importance of filling this form out accurately and keeping it updated at every visit .
A health history includes a series of important questions. The answers given guide the rest of the dental appointment. For example: are you diabetic? Did you know Diabetics are at higher risk for periodontal disease. Another example: Do you have stomach problems? This can include acid reflux. Acid reflux can be very destructive to teeth. Obtaining blood pressure is also an important part of the dental visit. This allows us to monitor heart rate when giving anesthetic. All of your treatment is based upon your health at the time of your visit.
The next section is often about medications. We want to know every single medication you take ….INCLUDING vitamins and supplements. We live in a day and age where many people take over the counter medications. But, just because you can buy them without a prescription doesn’t mean they don’t matter. Did you know that Ginkgo Biloba and vitamin E taken with aspirin increase bleeding. How many of you take vitamin C? In very large doses Vitamin C can weaken the efficiency of anesthesia and we don’t want you to be less comfortable!!!
A few other sections may remain such as: Have you had any recent hospitalizations? And, who is your physician. Please note that when in doubt, we will contact your physician for guidance.
And lastly, our health history asks for an emergency contact. This is such an important line. We want to know who we may contact if you have a health issue while visiting us. HIPPA is a great way to protect your medical records but in emergency instances, your permission is necessary….and if you’re having an emergency, will you be able to give us permission? There is so much important information in that one form!
Until next time,
Keep smiling, sharing, and caring.