Many times a new patient will come to the office and start filling out our medical questionnaire and half way through get angry and flustered. They then come to the front desk and ask: What do all these questions have to do with my teeth?
Well that is really a great question and the answer goes something like this.
Most people will never have a problem in the dental office but we in the dental office have to be prepared in case of emergency and we have to make sure that we don't do anything that will cause a medical emergency in the dental office. This starts with a thorough medical history of our patients. We want to know that our patients are not allergic to any antibiotic that we may need to give them, we want to know that they have not had a bad reaction to the local anaethetic that we need to put the tooth to sleep. We need to know that our patients are not allergic to our gloves etc. We want to know if our patients are taking any medications for an underlying condition as our anaethetics could react adversely with those medications or a medication that we may prescribe could act adversely with a medication that they are taking. We want to know if they have an underlying condition so that we can determine if they are suitable for treatment in a dental office or may require referral for treatment in a hospital setting. We would want to know regarding underlying conditions so that in case of emergency we are better suited to help them. The different possibilities are endless but knowing as much as possible about our patients medical history will help us avoid any unfortold medical emergencies and if they arise will help us better deal with them. In our office we take blood pressure readings for all new patients and at recall appointments for our existing patients. 15% of the population walks around with undiagnosed hypertension and we have literally come across a number of those patients. Incidentally we have had patients whose family phycicians have told them that their dentist saved their life. We also take blood glucose for our diabetic patients to see how controlled their diabetes is. The examples and their importance are endless. I hope you got the picture!
What do all these questions have to do with your teeth? They have so much to do with your teeth and your overall well being! Thit is a great question, thank you for asking so we could have the opportunity to explain this to you!
All the best
Dr. Ron Barzilay
having fun doing dentistry in Hamilton Ontario
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