The Importance of Health History

In this fast paced world it is crucial that patients communicate their health care conditions with their Dentist. For the safety of our patients, we at Coxsackie Dental Arts insist on a thorough health history.

I have heard patients say, I am only going to the dentist for a cleaning, why do they need a health history?

Recently I had a patient tell me that his Physician recommended pre-medication before dental treatment. However on that day he did not take his medicine because his physician thought it was OK for him to skip it for just a "cleaning".

My dental hygienist and I explained to this patient and then to his physician that a dental cleaning is actually one of the most invasive procedures a person can have at a dental office. Luckily we averted a potentially life threatening condition and this physician now has a better understanding of what we do in the dental office and how it has an impact on our patients.

Another story in our neighboring community of Cobleskill in Schoharie County, a patient filled a prescription for Coumadin which the patient felt caused a non-fatal stroke. She brought suit against the Rite-Aid Drug Store for filling the prescription.

In an appellate ruling, Justices Karen Peters, Bernard Malone Jr.,E. Michael Kavanagh, and Leslie Stein all found the pharmacy not negligent for filing the prescription. This case they opined once again underscores the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.

I urge all my patients to visit their physicians regularly and keep us informed of any updates or changes to their medical histories. Even a change of medication needs to be updated with your dentist.

Dr Kurt Froehlich is a dentist practicing in West Coxsackie, in Greene County NY. Coxsackie Dental Arts is a full service dental practice covering everything from basic family care to more extensive cosmetic dentistry needs.