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Obtaining a Comprehensive Health History

Supplement use, eating habits and nutritional deficiencies have been shown to play an important role in improving oral and physical health. Are you asking your patients about these conditions?

In her article Update on Nutrition for Better Healing, author Sanda Moldovan, DDS, MS, CNS, talks about supplement use and the role of nutrition in post surgical recovery, begging the question: How many dentists ask patients about their dietary history, supplement use, eating habits and nutritional deficiencies prior to treatment?

Moldovan shares that supplement use, eating habits and nutritional deficiencies have been shown in medical and dental studies to play an important role in improving oral and physical health, as well as procedural outcomes. She also states that the majority of dental patients take at least one dietary supplement.

As more people strive to be more health conscious and to understand how nutritional deficiencies can impact their physical well-being, it's important to understand how these matters can affect medical and dental procedural outcomes, specifically: 

  • A patient’s medical history is an important part of his/her dental history. It can increase awareness of diseases and medications which might interfere with a patient’s dental treatment.
  • A complete medication history should be documented and included in each patient’s file.
  • Ask patients at each visit if he/she is taking any new medications since his/her last visit, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal products and/or nutritional supplements.

If you aren’t already assessing your patients’ nutritional status, you may wish to consider how having this information can lead to better outcomes.  

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