Why an up to date Medical History is important
We request that you complete a full medical history questionnaire on our Clinipad and then review and update at least every six months, but why do we ask you to do this ?
Firstly, it is a legal requirement placed upon us by The General Dental Council and the CQC to ensure medical histories are up to date. Secondly, and more importantly, many medical conditions and medications can affect your dental treatment and oral health. In order for us to provide safe and effective treatment it is important that we know about these, even if you feel they are too trivial to mention.
Some medical conditions can turn into medical emergencies, such as epilepsy, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions and allergies. Medical emergencies can happen at any time and whilst we are prepared to deal with them it is helpful to have prior knowledge of a pre-existing condition.
High blood pressure can also be affected by some local anaesthesia, we can therefore administer an alternative if necessary.
We need to know if you are taking, or rely on, any medication. This should include any inhalers, recent antibiotics, regular prescribed medication from your GP or medicines you may have bought from the pharmacist. You should also tell us if you take any recreational drugs.
Medication prescribed by your GP may have side effects that affect your oral health. Some medication can increase bleeding such as warfarin and aspirin, some can increase your susceptibility to infections and some can even cause your gums to swell. Many prescribed medicines cause a dry mouth which is a particular concern as they can increase the risk of decay and gum disease.
It is also important to tell us if you are taking the contraceptive pill. If your dentist prescribes a course of antibiotics this can cause the pill to be less effective and you will need to use another form of contraception.
Alcohol and Smoking
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that those of us who smoke and drink are three times more likely to suffer severe gum disease. Gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults and has been linked to diseases such as strokes, heart disease, diabetes, meningitis, pneumonia and mouth cancer. Mouth cancer is one of the UK’s fastest growing cancers and people who drink more than the recommended units of alcohol per week and smoke more than one pack of cigarettes per day are up to 30 times more likely to develop this disease.
Knowing all about your medical history allows us to adjust your treatment accordingly. Please do not be offended by our questionnaire, it is not an attempt to pry into your private life but helps us to provide you with safe and effective treatment.
Please be reassured that the information you provide on your medical history is always kept completely confidential. We have strict confidentiality procedures in place and all our staff are trained in Information Governance.
If you have any questions regarding Medical Histories please do not hesitate to contact us.