The importance of taking medical histories for our dentist


At Meavy Way Dental Practice with our dentist in Plymouth, we always take medical histories before dental appointments. It is an essential step that enables us to provide optimum care for our patients. We take medical histories, but what information do we gather, and how do we use it to create individualised treatment plans for each patient?

Why medical histories are important

When patients come to our dentist in Plymouth for the first time, we always ask them to fill out a medical history form. This form asks questions about the patient’s medical conditions, allergies, medications, and surgeries. Some patients might wonder why we need to know this information, especially if they are only coming for a routine cleaning or check-up.

The truth is that the information we gather from a patient’s medical history can significantly impact their dental treatment. Certain medical conditions and medications can affect the way we perform dental procedures or prescribe medication. For example, patients with heart conditions might need to take antibiotics before some dental procedures to prevent infections. Patients taking blood thinners might need to stop taking them before oral surgeries to avoid excessive bleeding.

What information we gather

When patients fill out our medical history form, we ask them to provide detailed information about their medical conditions and medications. Here are some of our queries:

  • Do you have any medical conditions? Such as diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure?

  • Are you taking any medications or supplements, including over-the-counter drugs?

  • Have you had any surgeries or hospitalisations in the past?

  • Do you have any allergies, especially to medications or latex?

  • Do you smoke or use any tobacco products?

  • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?

These questions might seem extensive, but they help us get a complete picture of the patient’s health. We also ask follow-up questions and gather additional information during the patient’s dental examination. All this information helps us create a personalised treatment plan for each patient.

How we use medical histories to create treatment plans

Once we have gathered a patient’s medical history, we use it to create a customised treatment plan. For example, if a patient has diabetes, we might recommend more frequent cleanings or periodontal treatment to prevent gum disease, which is more common in people with diabetes. If a patient is taking blood thinners, we might need to use alternative methods to control bleeding during oral surgeries.

In some cases, we might need to consult with the patient’s primary care physician or specialist to ensure their dental treatment is safe and effective. For example, if a patient has a heart condition, we might need to coordinate their dental treatment with their cardiologist to ensure they are taking the necessary precautions.

Schedule your dental appointment today

Now that you understand the importance of taking medical histories before dental appointments, we invite you to schedule your next appointment with our dentist in Plymouth.

Every patient is unique, and their medical history can significantly impact their dental treatment. By gathering detailed information about our patient’s health, we can create personalised treatment plans that are safe and effective. We encourage all our patients to fill out their medical history forms truthfully and completely and to ask any questions they might have about their dental treatment. With our commitment to personalised care and attention to detail, we are confident that we can help all our patients achieve the healthy, beautiful smiles they deserve.