It seems like every time you visit a healthcare provider, you’re being asked to fill out forms. One of those forms that you see over and over is your health history. You might feel like this isn’t something you should have to keep updating, especially at the dentist, but it is more important than you think.
Why should you update your medical history?
Providing your health history at your first visit with Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates, DDS and updating it regularly allows us to be up-to-date with other health conditions you have and medications you take. Many people mistakenly believe that oral health and overall health are entirely separate things. The fact is, oral and overall health are closely connected.
Some medical conditions impact your oral health
Patients with health conditions like diabetes, stroke, heart disease, hypertension, or cancer tend to have more trouble with their teeth. When you update your health history and we see that you’ve been diagnosed with one of these conditions since your last visit, we can make sure to look for signs that these conditions are impacting your oral health.
It also allows us to see you more frequently, if necessary, to help keep your oral health the best it can be.
Medications may affect your dental care
Some medications can cause dry mouth, which increases your chances of tooth decay and cavities. Other medications may thin your blood, causing you to bleed longer, which can affect your cleanings and fillings.
By being aware of the medications you take, we can be aware of how they might impact the care we provide. This means we might need to change our approach to ensure you get the best dental care possible without causing or worsening the potential negative oral health side effects.
We might need to prescribe medications & need to be aware of allergies & interactions
Your health history provides more than just your health conditions and surgeries. It also tells us about your allergies and the medications you are or have previously taken. This can be critical if we need to prescribe something.
We need to know about allergies so we don’t prescribe something you’re allergic to. But we also need to know about other medications you take so we don’t prescribe something that will interact with one or more of your current medications.
How often should you update your medical history?
We ask that you update your health history annually. A year is long enough that many things could have changed, yet not so short a period that we’re bombarding you with the same form repeatedly.
Of course, if something changes and you wish to update us sooner, you can absolutely fill out a new form sooner. Once a year is our minimum to ensure that the information we have isn’t too far out of date and that we can stay on top of any changes that might affect your oral health.
How can you update your medical history?
You can simply fill out a new medical history form at your next appointment and return it to the front desk. If you’d like to fill it out before your appointment, you can go the Patient Forms page of our website and click on the Patient Intake Forms. You can print the medical history form, which is the third page, and complete it at home to return at your next visit.
Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates, DDS doctors and staff care about you as a whole person, not just a dental patient. By providing us with an updated health history once a year, you allow us to ensure that you’re getting the best possible care, both orally and overall.