The General Dental Council requires dentists to check a patient’s health condition regularly, and especially before any treatment is carried out.
Dentists are not only required to check a patient’s medical condition, we must be able to prove we have kept this information up to date and that the information is completed by the patient themselves, this is why a new form and a signature is required.
A lot of patients are only visiting the practice every 9 months now for routine exams. A lot can happen in 9 months and in between exam appointments things can change. A patient may think that they let us know about the changes last visit, when actually there is nothing recorded on your Medical Form. It would be irresponsible and un- professional for your dentist to accept “No Change” as a satisfactory updated Medical Status. Our clinicians make sure they have an in depth and up to date Medical Form for each patient to allow us to make an informed decision should any treatment be needed.
Although some of the questions may seem strange for your dentist to ask, all the questions on our Medical Form are relevant.
Below are some examples of our questions and the reasons we need to ask them:
Have you ever had liver or kidney disease? If yes, some patients require lower doses of local anaesthetic. Patients can also be at increased risk of gingival hyperplasia.
Do you suffer from Arthritis? This can affect a patient’s oral health and some medications for arthritis can affect treatment options.
Do you suffer from any Infectious Diseases such as HIV/Hepatitis? Patients can be more susceptible to infection and take longer to heal, which may affect treatment options. There is also a higher risk of certain gum conditions.
Have you ever had brain surgery? Patients who have had brain surgery can be more at risk of CJD.
Have you ever had growth hormone treatment? Before 1980’s, growth hormones were administered by transplantation of extracts from human tissue and this has since been linked with CJD.
How many units of alcohol do you drink per week? Patients who smoke as well as drink alcohol are at increased risk of Oral Cancer. Periodontal (gum) problems are also more likely.
Some medicines are especially relevant to your dentist and could affect treatment options. These include:
Warfarin, Aspirin, Clopidogrel – These 3 medicines affect blood clotting
Bisphosphonates (bone medication) – Patients are at risk of developing jaw problems