The extent of the medical history and the physical and laboratory exarninatlons of patients requiring ambulatory dentoalveolar surgery usually differ from that necessary for a pattent requiring hospital admission for surgical procedures. A patient’s primary care physician typically performs comprehensive histories and physical examinations of patients; it is impractical and ot little value for the dentist to duplicate this process. However, the dental health care provider must discover the presence or history of medical problems that may affect the safe delivery of care, as well as any conditions specifically affecting the health of the oral and maxillofacial region.
Dentists are educated in the basic sciences and preclinical medical sciences, particularly as they relate to the maxillofacial region. This special expertise in medical topics as they relate to the oral region makes dentists
valuable resources in a community’s health care delivery team. The responsibility this designation carries is that dentists must be capable of recognizing and appropriately managing pathologic oral conditions. To maintain this expertise, a dentist must keep informed of new developments
in medicine, be vigilant when treating patients, and be prepared to communicate a thorough but succinct valuation of the oral health of patients to other health care providers.