01 Sep Medical History form? Yes. Every time you visit.
Is it time for another visit to the dentist? When you arrive, you’ll be asked to fill out a medical history form. It may seem like only yesterday that you completed one, but on every visit, you will be asked to complete another one.
Our team are often asked why this is the case. So we thought we would put together some questions and answers to help you understand why and more importantly, how it helps you:
Why do I need to complete a medical history form at the dentist?
As a dentist in Australia, we are required by law to have our patients update a medical history form every 12 months.
However, it’s not just as a legal requirement. As a dentist, we may use different forms of anesthetic or recommend a particular treatment to assist our patients. So a patients’ medical history provides the dentist with the information necessary to provide safe and individualised care.
Essentially, it is important that we know what medicines you are taking and if you have any significant health risks that may be affected by the dental care that we recommend.
Information about certain medical conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, allergies or heart disease could also be vital if a medical emergency occurs in the dental practice.
Why do I need to complete a medical history form every time I visit?
Generally, we ask our patients to complete a medical history form every 12 months, however this may be more often, depending on the patient. This is to ensure that your medical history is up-to-date and that we are taking care of our patients in the best way possible.
Why can’t I just tell my dentist that nothing has changed instead?
It may be the case that nothing has changed medically since your last visit, however completing the form can sometimes jog your memory to recall a medication that you may have started taking. Either way, by completing and signing the form, you are confirming this to your dentist for your own safety.
Why does the dentist need to know the answers to some of the questions they ask?
The form is a comprehensive medical history form to help protect you from any adverse affects of treatment. Your dentist needs to be aware if you have serious medical conditions like diabetes or allergies, so if a medical emergency occurs, they will know how they can help you.
Another example is that you may suffer from arthritis, which can impact your oral health or medications prescribed by your doctor could also affect the treatment options recommended by your dentist.
Keep in mind that even though you attend your dentist for oral care, it is important to understand that we treat you holistically, rather that just assessing your teeth. At Paul Beath Dental, our focus is on helping you with preventative dental care to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy, rather than just repairing the problem.
The medical history forms that you complete may seem annoying, but they are our best source of information to help keep you safe and healthy. Of course, if you have any questions about the form or about how we can help you, don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with us.