Most dental practitioners find health history forms (questionnaires) an efficient means of initially collecting the medical history. When a credible patient completes. a health history form, the dentist can use pertinent answers to direct the interview. Properly trained dental assistants can “red flag” important patient responses on the form (e.g., circling allergies to medications in red) to bring positive answers to the attention of the dentist.
Health questionnaires should be written’ clearly, be in lay language, and not be too lengthy. To lessen the chance of patients giving incomplete or inaccurate responses, the form should include a statement that assures the patient of the confidentiality of the information and a consent line identifying those individuals the patient approves of having access to the dental record, such as the primary care physician and other doctors .In he practice. The form should also include a place for patient Signature to verify that the patient has understood the questions and the accuracy of the answers. Numerous-health questionnaires designed for dentalpatients are available from sources such as the American Dental Association, dental schools, and dental textbooks (Fig. 1-1). The dentist should either choose a prepared form or formulate an individualized one. The items listed in Box 1-2 (collected ‘either on a form or verbally) help establish a suitable health history database for patients; if the data are collected verbally, written documentation on the results of the inquiry is important. In addition to this basic information, it is helpful to inquire specifically about relatively common medical problems that are likely to alter dental management of the patient. These problems include angina, myocardial infarction (MI), heart murmurs, rheumatic heart disease,bleeding disorders (including anticoagulant use), asthma, lung disease, hepatitis, sexually transmitted disease, renal disease, diabetes, corticosteroid use, seizure disorder, and ‘implanted prosthetic devices such as artificial joints or heart valves. Patients should be asked specifically about allergies to local .anesthetics and penicillin. Female patients also must be asked at each visit whether they may be pregnant. A brief family history can be useful and should focus on relevant inherited diseases, such as hemophilia or malignant hyperthermia (BOX 1-3). The medical history should be periodically updated, at leaston an annual basis. Many dentists have their assistants specifically ask each patient at checkup appointments if there has been any change in health since the last dental , visit. The dentist- is alerted if a change has occurred, -and changes are documented in the record.
on an annual basis. Many dentists have their assistants specifically ask each patient at checkup appointments if there has been any change in health since the last dental , visit. The dentist- is alerted if a change has occurred, and changes are documented in the record.