Dentist makes a note in file

“Never Treat a Stranger”

“Never treat a stranger” as the Canadian physician Sir William Ostler emphasizes the need of your dentist to know you before we treat you as a patient.

The dentists’ knowledge of the patient’s medical history allows for better prevention and management of possible emergencies.

Some systemic diseases directly affect the treatment in the dental office as well including how you will respond to the specific treatment rendered, possible infections and delayed healing.

It’s important to note that it is more common to see your dentist for checkups than seeing your regular primary care doctor. This aspect allows us to better diagnose and help direct possible systemic issues as well before they are not as manageable.

While the information about reviewing the different physiologic systems might seem unnecessary for your dentist to know it allows us to see what might affect your dental treatment and also lead your dental team to spot health issues that were previously overlooked. This also includes a thorough review of all medications prescribed or over-the-counter supplements that could possibly affect your dental treatment.

It is important to update this specific document every chance we meet with you. This enables your team to better facilitate treatment because we know that things always are changing. We want the patient to feel not as a stranger in the practice but as part of the team and part of their care.

What if I have a long list of medications or medical conditions?

For some of our patients, they have a long list of medications and/or medical conditions and it can be a headache to fill out the form. We have found it easiest for these patients to bring a typed form from either their prescribing doctor or their general practitioner with the complete list of medical conditions, prescriptions and supplements. You can also type your list at home and email it to us ahead of time, if that’s easier for you.


We appreciate your help in updating your health history forms when you come to Health Centered Dentistry, and know that it can feel time consuming. We do our best to always verbally go through your medical history when you’re in the chair and only have your fill out the form once a year.

We’re always ready to answer any questions you may have regarding health history updates and the purpose of them. Feel free to contact us with your questions or concerns at [email protected] or by phone at 907.276.4537.