One of the first things to occur at Calleros Dental when you come in for an appointment is a blood pressure check with a wrist monitor. In addition to completing a comprehensive medical history questionnaire, disclosing your daily medications and seemingly providing your entire life story in condensed form, all this health care surrounding your dental appointment may seem unnecessary.
Patients often ask us why they need to disclose this health information and sometimes feel that they can gloss over certain details, because after all, it’s just your teeth being taken care of, isn’t it?
Nothing could be further from the truth. Dental care in the office of Calleros Dental is more than superficial care and repair of the teeth. We understand how your overall health affects your dental health. Did you know that many serious health conditions first show up in your mouth?
For most healthy patients, undergoing dental work has no effect on their overall health and well-being. For patients with certain health conditions, medical histories and some medications, undergoing a dental procedure can have adverse consequences if these factors are not taken into consideration, and appropriate precautions taken prior to treatment. Since your health and safety is our primary concern, we take your medical history very seriously.
Some Common Concerns About Your Overall Health
Health conditions and medications can interfere with your regular dental care. For some patients, undergoing a dental procedure without proper preparation and precaution can be dangerous. Here are just a few examples of medical conditions which can complicate your dental care.
High Blood Pressure
We check your blood pressure when you arrive for your appointment. This may seem trivial, but did you know that an abnormal blood pressure can have serious consequences if certain dental procedures are performed on a patient with high blood pressure? Just a few complications could be excessive bleeding, dangerous continued elevation of blood pressure during treatment (increasing the risk for heart attack or stroke). Also, beyond dental treatment we use your blood pressure reading as a screening tool to better inform you of your overall health and whether you should seek further evaluation from your primary care physician as many people are unaware of their blood pressure and what is considered normal.
Heart Problems and Heart Valve Problems
Telling us about your heart problems is important. Certain medications you may be taking can cause complications such as excessive bleeding during and after dental treatment. In addition, heart valve problems can increase your risk of experiencing a very serious heart infection called bacterial endocarditis. For patients with heart conditions, certain precautions must be taken to ensure your safety.
Joint Replacements and Implants
Having an artificial joint replacement or other implant anywhere in your body can put you at risk for infections when bacteria from your mouth enter your bloodstream during dental treatment, and settle in the artificial joint or implant. If you have any of these, be sure to tell us so precautions can be taken if needed.
Patients with osteoporosis may be taking certain medications that affect the anatomical structure of your bone tissue. Complications can occur following dental surgical procedures in some patients who are taking these medications, known as bisphosphonates. In some instances, the jaw bone might not heal properly following a tooth extraction or other surgical procedure. This can cause serious complications such as bone infection. If you are taking a medication for osteoporosis, such as Boniva, be sure to inform us.
Patients with diabetes, both insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent can experience difficulties with wound healing. Undergoing a surgical dental procedure can potentially result in problems with healing in patients with diabetes. Calleros Dental understands how to manage the care and treatment of patients with this condition, so be sure to include it on your medical history questionnaire.
If you are allergic to medications, foods or substances such as adhesive or latex, be sure to include that information on your medical history form so these allergens can be avoided during your treatment.
Having named just a few of the health conditions which must be addressed prior to your dental treatment, it’s easy to see how undergoing dental procedures can affect your overall health or exacerbate otherwise well-managed conditions. When completing your medical history questionnaire, remember to be thorough and complete. If changes in your medical conditions have changed since your last visit, be sure to inform us prior to treatment.
Your health and safety is important to us, and having complete medical history information about you helps us to provide you with the most comprehensive and safe dental treatment possible.