Medical History Forms: Why am I asked to fill out a new one?

When you first visit our practice, you will be asked to complete a medical history form. We will also ask you to complete a new form once a year, but why do we do this? It may seem like an insignificant or unnecessary form to complete on a regular basis, but an accurate record of your medical information is needed for your own well being.

Medications

We ask that all medical history forms are read carefully and completed to the best of your knowledge. Often, we will double check with you any medication you have noted, or questions you have not answered. For example, when prompted, a patient might suddenly remember that they have an injection for osteoporosis every 6 months. This additional piece of information, if not given, may mean that a normal extraction could result in complications.

Any medications you are taking, even if they are for ailments which are not near the mouth, can have an effect on your teeth and gums, so it is important that they are listed on your medical history form. For example, some medications can cause you to have dry mouth, which can lead to a higher risk of cavities. Other medications and health conditions may result in the clinician needing to give you an alternative local anaesthetic before treatment, to avoid adverse reactions.

Our dentists will also refer to your medical history form if they need to prescribe an antibiotic to you, to avoid giving you a medication which will clash with one you are already taking.

Some vitamins and natural remedies can give side effects to your teeth and gums. For example, lemon water can increase erosion and fish oil thins the blood. So it is important you provide us with any information on vitamins you currently take.

Legality

It is a legal requirement to have an up-to-date medical history for our patients. This means we are kept informed of any health changes, new medications, lifestyle changes, etc, which you may have had in the last year. Our medical history forms include questions surrounding lifestyle (drinking and smoking), family medical history, and allergies.

These questions and clinical examinations help us to not only establish your immediate dental needs, but also keep you safe while in our care. We will be able to advise you the best treatment approach, taking into account your medical needs, and keep any associated risk to a minimum.

It is all connected

It is very important that you put any and all information regarding your health onto a medical history form, even if you think it doesn’t relate to your mouth. Anything from back to stomach problems could all have an effect on what happened while you are in the dental chair. As this infographic from the British Dental Health Foundation shows, there are many things that can cause poor dental health, and not all of them restricted to the mouth.

Contact information

Along with the medical and lifestyle questions, our medical history forms also ask for you to nominate a next of kin and give their contact information. We also need your contact information so we can contact you regarding appointments, and to let you know when it is time to see us again.

Confidential

All information you give to the practice is kept strictly private. Nothing leaves the building and we will never give out information to anyone you have not given us permission to talk to. As soon as your dentist has seen your paper medical history form it is scanned to your dental records then the paper is destroyed in a cross-shredder.

We ask that patients arrive at the practice 5-10 minutes before their appointment to complete a medical history form. We thank you for your patience in completing them, and know that we have your best interests in mind

Should you have any questions, you can contact a member of the River Dental team on 01264 810818 or kingfisher@river.dental
You can also see a copy of our Privacy Policy on our website here (please note, this will open up a new browser window).