The Importance of the Health History Update
How many of you have complained when the receptionist hands you a health history update? Let’s take a few moments to talk about why we ask you to update your health history.
Health history forms typically start out by asking you your name, address, phone number and email address. That seems to be self explanatory.
Next on the health history there will be a series of questions called: Have you had? The answers here guide the rest of your time in the dental chair. For example: are you diabetic? 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. Artificial joints, pregnancy, and depression are a few more examples that must be closely looked at. All of your treatment is based upon your health at the time of your visit.
The biggest complaint is always “I just filled this out the last time”. We really do understand. But no one plans a life changing health event do they?
The next section is often about medications. We want to know every single medication you take ….INCLUDING 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?
So although these forms seem monotonous, their value is unprecedented. Please take the time to fill out yours as thoroughly as possible.
And as always,
Keep smiling, sharing, and caring.