History of Chief Complaint
The patient should be asked to describe the history of the present complaint or illness, particularly its first appearance, any changes since its first appearance, and its influence on or by other factors. Descriptions of pain should Include onset, intensity, duration, location, and radiation, as well as factors that worsen and mitigate the pain. In addition, an Inquiry should be made about constitutional symptoms such as fever, chills, lethargy, anorexia, malaise, and weakness- associated with the chief complaint.
This portion of the health history may be extremely straightforward, such as a 2-day history of pain and swelling around an erupting third molar. However, it maX’ be relatively involved, such ,as a lengthy history of a painful, nonhealing extraction site in a patient who received therapeutic irradiation. In this case a detailed history of the chief complaint is necessary.