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Why Do Dentists Need Your Health History?

We know no one enjoys filling out paperwork, but in any medical environment, all those questions about your medications and medical history are incredibly important. Most people acknowledge that they need to fill out paperwork at places like their GP or orthopedic, but at dental offices, paperwork is often left ignored and unfinished. Because people typically come to the dentist twice a year, it can feel more routine than going to other medical offices. This translates to people not feeling the need to mention things like new medications or recent surgeries. Your teeth don’t have much to do with the rest of your body, right? In reality, your overall health has a strong impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Even small changes to your medical history can impact how we approach your dental treatment options.

List all of your medications

Almost all medications — even over-the-counter drugs — come with long lists of side effects. Most decongestants and many antihistamines can severely reduce saliva production. Saliva helps keep your teeth “clean” in-between brushing by washing away harmful bacteria. If we know that you’re on a medication that affects saliva production, we can take some proactive measures to ensure your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible.

Some other medications that may affect your saliva production include painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants. If you’re taking any kind of medication regularly, make sure your dentist knows — even if you don’t think it’s affecting your teeth or mouth directly. With anything medical, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

List all illnesses and conditions

Your mouth is a gateway for harmful bacteria, allowing them to easily move from your teeth and gums to affect the rest of your body. Poor oral health can exacerbate, and even cause, certain conditions, including endocarditis and cardiovascular disease. Letting your dentist know about your health conditions — including your family’s health history — is vital. If endocarditis runs in your family, your dentist may recommend coming in for three or four cleanings a year instead of two, just to make sure there are no bacteria that can wind up near your heart.

Your oral health can also impact pregnancy. Recent studies link periodontal disease to low birth weights and premature births. We typically recommend that pregnant women come in for cleanings every three months instead of every six months if they’re struggling with their gum health.

Other conditions that relate to your oral health include diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and osteoporosis. These illnesses can make the mouth more susceptible to gum disease, mucosal lesions, and tooth loss respectively. The best way to keep yourself healthy is to tell your dentist exactly what sort of conditions you have so they can create a treatment plan that works for you.

Recent surgery or injury? Let us know

Surgeries and injuries — on any part of the body — can affect oral surgeries and treatments. At our office, we approach every case with individual, personalized care. If we don’t know your medical history, we could make a mistake. Keep us in the loop on any and all changes by filling out all requested paperwork and talking to your dentist while you’re in the office. We want every visit to our office to be beneficial and worthwhile to you but for that to be possible, we need your help.

we are open

We are reopening our office for elective procedures (including cleanings) on May 11th! While we’re very excited to see and help our patients again, we first wanted to quickly go over the precautions that we will be taking to keep you and your family as safe and healthy as possible.

At Stanley Dentistry, our responsibility to our patients is to provide the highest standards of dental office infection control. We consider protecting the health of our patients and our team our top priority.

It is important to us that our patients feel safe and well-cared for during their appointments. We have always maintained a high standard of cleanliness but we are now taking it a step further to curb the spread of COVID-19. In order to follow the infection control guidelines recommended by the ADA & NCDS, we are implementing some new protocols. When you come in for your appointment post-May 11th, you can rest assured that your overall health and well-being is our major concern. Below are our new sanitation guidelines.

COVID-19 Prevention Protocols

We are open for emergencies and virtual consults

In response to the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina, our office has decided to postpone all elective treatment until May 11th. Your health and wellness is always our number one priority. Elective treatment includes cleanings and new patient consultations. As always, we will still be open for emergencies and for major procedures that could not be rescheduled. We will also be conducting virtual consultations for people who would like to start their dental treatment while in the safety and comfort of their homes. Simply go to our Make an Appointment page and let us know that you’re interested in setting up virtual consultation. We will call you shortly to schedule.

Like our in-person consultations, our virtual consultations are 100% free. They offer patients some time with the doctors to ask questions about different procedures. The doctor may ask you to take some pictures of your smile so they can start putting together a customized treatment plan. Once our office opens back up, you can come in and immediately get started with whatever procedures the doctor has recommended.

Who should ask for a virtual consultation?

Unless you are experiencing an emergency, we recommend scheduling a virtual consultation at this time. We may not be able to give a diagnosis, but we will be able to answer some of your questions and begin your journey to a healthier, brighter smile. So many of our patients go into their first consultation thinking they need one thing and, after talking to the doctor, leave knowing they need something completely different. This virtual consultation is a time to clear the air and get both the patient and the doctor on the same page.

What platform are your virtual consultations on?

We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone. We’re more than willing to work with you when it comes to choosing a good platform for your virtual consultation. If you have an iPhone, we recommend using FaceTime. If that doesn’t work, we are open to using other platforms including Zoom and Skype.

We are also offering virtual consults that do not need to be scheduled. For these, you can simply send in a description of your smile along with a few pictures. One of our doctors will create a short video for you explaining a good course of treatment. If this style of consult interests you, please click here.

How do I schedule a virtual consultation?

This is the easy part! To schedule a virtual consultation with one of our doctors, you can either call 919-371-4454 or you can go to our Make an Appointment page and request one. We’ll handle it from there!

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