Things You Should Be Telling Your Dentists
You would probably be surprised to learn of the connection between certain medical conditions and your oral health. For example, diabetic patients are more prone to experiencing dental problems, and periodontal disease can actually be an early complication of diabetes. Additionally, patients with certain heart conditions may require a antibiotic medication prior to receiving dental care.
For these reasons, we ask that you please provide us with your complete medical history—even if it includes something that is embarrassing, personal, or you don’t think is necessary for us to know. It’s important to realize that certain things that seem completely unrelated to your dental care (like diabetes) can significantly impact your oral health.
The more we know about your medical history, the easier it will be for us to take great care of you and your teeth!
Small Oral Issues
Many patients dismiss daily sensitivity, pain or bleeding when brushing, and jaw problems as “normal.” Or sometimes patients think that the dentist will just know about these issues or will be able to visibly identify that they are happening.
Unfortunately, we can’t always see that you are suffering from these symptoms during routine check ups. Oftentimes, these common issues are signs of a more serious condition, so it is important to mention them to us so we can create the best treatment plan possible, if treatment is needed.
Other Health Issues
It probably wouldn’t occur to you to tell us about your most recent headache. However, so-called “regular” issues, like headaches, are often a direct result of an oral condition. There are simple treatments available that can help reduce the frequency and intensity of these headaches.
Also, chronic dry mouth is a very common side effect of taking medications. The affects of dry mouth can be devastating, especially for the elderly. Letting us know about your medications and if you have experienced dry mouth is very important in establishing the right preventative care.
If you’re experiencing a medical condition that doesn’t seem like it can possibly be related to your oral care, we ask you to err on the side of over-disclosure and let us know about it. We may be able to help!
Your Smile Goals
Some patients feel uncomfortable bringing up subjects like missing teeth, crooked teeth, or chronic bad breath. Their smile goal might be to cure this bad breath or invest in braces to straighten their teeth but they may be too embarrassed to say so.
Rest assured, we’ve seen and heard it all. Please don’t let your discomfort or embarrassment prevent you from receiving help with your smile and oral health goals. We are a judgement-free office and take each patient’s concerns very seriously. In virtually every case, there is something we can recommend to assist you.
Your Privacy Is Of The Utmost Importance
If you’re worried about privacy, please know we are completely HIPAA compliant. Your protected health information and personal information is not shared with anyone without your consent. Additionally, our staff completes annual HIPAA training each year, so we’re always up-to-date on the latest practices.
Our computer records are also kept secure with firewalls, antivirus software and backups. Additionally, any information that is necessary to be electronically shared with other medical providers in your care is always sent via encrypted email. This ensures that your data is kept confidential and secure.
Finally, we’d like you to know that we’re not judgmental—we’re not here to scold, ridicule, or make fun of anyone. As a patient-focused practice, one of our primary goals is to develop a trusted relationship with our patients. It does not matter to us if you have had routine dental care or if you haven’t been to a dentist in years…what matters to us is that you are here now! We are thrilled that you have chosen to trust us with your care!
So don’t be shy – share these important pieces of information with your dentist to ensure you receive the best treatment and achieve your smile goals! Schedule your appointment with Smile Hilliard online or call 614.328.9489. We offer early morning and evening hours for your convenience!