The Importance Of Giving Your Dentist Your Medical History As A New Patient

dentist showing patient's record history

​​​​​​​Whether you have recently moved to a new area or you are simply looking at switching to a new practice, being registered with a dentist should be a priority, even if you don’t need dental treatment right away. Many people put off visiting their dentist until they are experiencing a dental problem and have symptoms that they can no longer ignore. However, a great dentist can do so much more than simply treat a problem that is already compromising your oral health. With the right information and regular visits, your dentist can potentially prevent you from experiencing a dental problem in the first place – saving you the debilitating effects of unpleasant symptoms and the need for costly, inconvenient dental treatment.

One of the most effective tools that any dentist has at their disposal is your previous medical history. Just like your family doctor, your dentist can use information about your prior oral health and wellbeing in a number of different ways.

The link between dental and general health

Firstly, it is important to note that evidence has shown distinct correlations between oral and body health. This means that dental disease and other issues can have an impact on your overall wellbeing. For example, patients with periodontal disease are more likely to suffer from conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

By obtaining your medical history as a new patient, your dentist can ascertain which health conditions you are already experiencing and can formulate a dental care plan to manage these or even reduce their symptoms. Although nobody likes to think of dental negligence, it also means that if any new health problems develop as a result of your dentist failing to give you proper care, you will have proof that these conditions were not pre-existing.

Your medical and dental history can be used to make treatment choices

Not only can your medical and dental history help your dentist to determine your risk of developing certain problems, but it is also essential for them to make the right treatment choices. It can be potentially dangerous to administer certain medications, anesthetic and deliver some treatments without properly checking a patient’s medical history.

If dental care doesn’t go to plan

While you have almost certainly done your research when it comes to choosing your dental practice, dentists are only human and there is still always a risk that something could potentially go wrong. While it is always hoped that this doesn’t happen, it is important that you have fulfilled all of your patient responsibilities if an issue arises that means that you wish to pursue a dental malpractice case. One of these is providing your dentist with your complete medical history and ensuring that you update your dentist with any health information changes such as a new diagnosis or medication. If you have provided your professional with all of the correct information you may be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation for any damages you have sustained if you experience issues such as:

- A missed diagnosis

- A misdiagnosis

- Delayed treatment

- Wrongfully administered anesthesia

If you would like to learn more about the importance of giving your dentist your medical history as a new patient, or if you think you may have suffered at the hands of a negligent dentist and would like further advice, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices.​​​​​