Every once in a while, we notice that a patient is a little annoyed when we ask about their full medical history. After all, why does it matter that you are taking medications for an unrelated health condition? The fact is that a lot of health conditions, or the medications that are used to manage them, can have an impact on the dental procedure we are trying to perform, or certain procedures can increase your risk for complications if you are taking specific medications.
We wouldn’t ask you for this information unless it was absolutely necessary, and we’re only asking for it so that we can ensure we provide you with the best dental care possible. Below, we’re going to give some examples of why your full medical history is important when visiting the dentist so that you can see why we’re always asking about it.
Research shows that if you’re a smoker, your dental implant procedure is 10 times more likely to fail than that of a non-smoker. Smoking can also inhibit healing or increase your risk of dry sockets if you are having dental work performed. Smoking also greatly increases the probability of periodontal disease.
Biphosphonates, which is the type of drug used to treat osteoporosis, can cause jaw issues after tooth loss or a tooth extraction procedure.
Diabetes can affect your saliva and in turn increase your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Certain dental anesthetics or procedures can increase the risk of potential complications for you or your future child, so some dental surgeries may be postponed if you’re pregnant. Regular dental cleanings and minor work can still be performed even if you are pregnant, but still let your dentist know.
Blood Pressure Medications
Certain blood pressure medications can affect your gum health, and having high blood pressure can put you at added risk for kidney issues during certain dental surgeries.
Disease or Allergy Medications
If you are taking medications to combat conditions like liver disease, heart disease, kidney disease or everyday allergies, let your dentist know. If a dental procedure leads to an infection, it can have grave consequences for individuals with these health conditions, so your doctor will make a judgment on whether a procedure is in your best interest.
Heavy Alcohol Use
Heavy alcohol use can damage oral structures and leave you at a greater risk for oral cancer.
These are just a few examples of why it is so important to be an open book when it comes to explaining your medical history to your dentist. We only ask because we want to ensure all our work goes exactly as planned and you get the best care possible. For more information or to set up your next appointment, reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office today.