Interview Is the Most Important Part of the Check Up
When you see your dentist for a regular check up it should always start by interviewing you. No matter how long you have known your dentist and you think they know you inside out, the same questions should be repeated every time. These questions make the treatment you might need safe to perform when it comes to your health.
If the dentist or dental hygienist does not ask about your medical history when you see them for a check up or an emergency visit, I would advice you to change the practice. In worst case your life might be at risk.
If your dentist or dental hygienist does ask about medical history, you are in good hands but only if you are honest. Do not hide anything even if you think something is not relevant or you are embarrassed about it.
The most important ones to mention are
- anticoagulants (all of them – even aspirin and omega 3-products) and why you have been prescribed these
- allergies – all of them! The ones the patients often fail to disclose are food allergies and allergy to latex. One might think that why would food allergy make any difference to dentist but it does. There is milk protein in a product called GC Tooth Mousse that is used e.g. after teeth cleaning
- antidepressants – you don’t need to be embarrassed about them, we are professionals and will take matters as they are
- eating disorders – the past and current ones. There is no reason to hide them from the professionals. It might be actually a relief for you to share it with somebody (believe me, I have witnessed this several times during my professional life)
- excessive alcohol consumption – even if you won’t tell us we can often see it from your mouth or how you response to the treatment. Heavy alcohol consumption may affect the effectiveness of the local anaesthesia – it might be difficult to get your tooth numb. Also certain drugs like antibiotics won’t be effective enough. These are just two examples. If you are interested to read my post about alcohol, please click here.
- if you have artificial joint/s
- all the systemic diseases
- if your immune system is impaired – HIV, hepatitis A or C. This won’t change the way we treat you as we should treat all the patients in such way that no cross-contamination can happen. But we need know in case we see something in your mouth (e.g. soft tissues) we do not understand unless we know about your illness. Also the information will help us in the case of unfortunate accident if one of us professionals cut ourselves by contaminated instrument.
It Is All about Trust
Everything you tell us at the dental office is confidential. Even if you are a public figure.
I must tell from an experience that I felt utterly disappointed and mistrusted once when a well-known person who had seen me for years, told in the press that she has had hepatitis C for a long time. You tell this publicly but not in a place you should! Why o why? Trust us for God’s sake!