Industry content

Why Your Practice Needs Dental/Medical History Forms

Date Posted: 05.16.23

No one likes filling out paperwork – and that includes your patients!

Every dental practice manager has heard the grumblings about the long, tedious dental/medical history forms patients have to fill out by hand. Many patients wonder why they must fill out such an extensive form, even if they’re only in for routine teeth cleaning.

But dental/medical history forms are crucial to delivering holistic, safe, and superior services to your patients. In this article, we will discuss dental history forms, what they are, and why they’re important.

What are Dental/Medical History Forms?

Dental/health history forms document all the pertinent information about the patient that a medical practitioner (such as a dentist) should know. This information allows them to deliver comprehensive and safe services. For instance, a dental health history form can inform the doctor if the patient has allergies to a specific medicine so that it can be avoided.

Apart from basic information like contact details, a medical history form for dental office patients should include the following:

  • Any diagnosed illness or medical condition that the patient has
  • Other doctors or dentists providing, or who have provided, medical care to the patient. This should also include their contact details.
  • Why the patient needs dental care and where they are in their dental care journey.

Filling out a dental registration and history form is often the first step when your clinic admits a new patient (dental forms / templates can be easily obtained through the American Dental Association online).

It doesn’t end there, however. The dentist and patient should also further discuss crucial points in the medical history form. Dental conditions, past operations, and current medication are just a few of the topics that should be covered during the discussion.

This helps you verify the accuracy of the information put in by the patient. It also allows you to probe deeper into a patient’s history, since it’s impossible to put every detail into a dental office medical history form.

The Importance of Dental/Medical History Forms

It would be virtually impossible for a dental clinic to deliver the best care without dental/medical history forms. That’s because dentists aren’t able to tailor-fit their treatments to suit a patient’s health status without preliminary information.

Many patients don’t realize how interconnected the human body is. A problem in one area could cause or be a symptom of issues in another. Just consider that many periodontal diseases are often tied into a dozen more serious conditions, such as cancer and arthritis.

Dentists need to know a patient’s medical history so they don’t inadvertently prescribe a treatment that would worsen an underlying condition. In some cases, this could be very dangerous and have severe consequences. For instance, many substances interact with dental drugs, such as local anesthetics used for routine tooth extractions. These can be risky to the patient’s health, and these forms can help dental practices avoid introducing complications and risk.

Medical records can also be vital for detecting more serious illnesses. For instance, a type of gingivitis called linear gingival erythema (LGE) could be a symptom of HIV. The doctor could correlate that with a patient’s medical history to determine if HIV is likely.

It’s for these reasons that it’s vital to keep your records up-to-date with a dental/medical history update form. A person’s health condition will change over time. Thus, an outdated medical record is just as dangerous as having none at all.

The Benefits of Going Digital

Despite the importance of medical/dental history records, many clinics still take the manual approach. In a world where tech is quickly taking over, many aspects of the healthcare industry are going digital.

So what are the benefits of taking your records online?

  • It’s more efficient

With digital, patient data can be collected from multiple sources. A patient doesn’t need to fill out a dental health history update form manually anymore, which is slow and error-prone. When your dentists want to retrieve patient information, there’s no need to scour through file cabinets to find it. Everything can be searched in seconds.

  • It’s convenient for patients and dentists alike

Patients can fill out patient forms anywhere and anytime. That way, they don’t need to waste time when they arrive at your clinic.

  • It’s more secure

Despite concerns about hacking, going digital can oftentimes be more secure. With top-notch security protocols in place, you can restrict access to certain files and make sure only the right people are able to view records.

Go Digital with Cloud 9

You can enjoy these benefits and more with Cloud 9’s specialty dental practice management software. Cloud 9 automates many aspects of your clinic – from managing patient records to filing insurance claims – in one easy-to-use platform.

All the data you need is in one convenient location. With Cloud 9 Ortho, dentists can easily see the standing of any patient when they come in. Receptionists, on the other hand, can easily communicate with patients through automated text, phone, or email reminders.

Cloud 9 gives you all the tools you’ll need to deliver a superior patient experience. To learn more or request a free demo, contact Cloud 9 today.