2

I will go see a new dentist and I know that they ask all their patients what medications they're taking (in the US, at least). However, I don't want to tell my dentist this information because I feel like dentists and their staff do not keep things very private. Staff at some dental offices seem overly curious and may gossip a lot. And at some dental offices, I've heard very detailed conversations about the medical issues of other patients. I want to protect my privacy. Is it ok if I just say I'm not taking any medications? To put the question in more specific terms, which medications are actually crucial to tell your dentist about (for fear of serious medication interaction effects)?

| |
  • 2
    In what Country do you live? Usually all doctors have to abide to confidentially, and as an example, in Germany, if anyone gossips about your health, they loose their approbation and go to jail most of the time. Is detailed conversation about medical issues conversation in medical terms or really just gossip? If this is the later, change your doctor. – Narusan Mar 8 '17 at 6:09
  • 1
    But, you have to trust your dentist and need to tell him/her all medication you take! Serious medication interaction effects can happen with almost any medication if you mix the wrong ones. Ever tried alcohol and sleeping pills? – Narusan Mar 8 '17 at 6:11
  • @Narusan however, dentists do not normally administer or prescribe alcohol or sleeping pills. I believe the OP is specifically asking about cases where there are no meaningful or significant interactions. In theory, anything could affect anything else, but doctors don't need a comprehensive list of every time you have ever had a cold before diagnosing a rash, since the likelihood of that affecting the outcome is virtually nil. Similarly, astronauts in Florida don't refuse to take off unless given a copy of the weather report for Istanbul. – Robert Columbia Mar 8 '17 at 18:56
  • 2
    @RobertColumbia: The point I'm trying to make is that there is a good reason why doctors want to know what medication you are taking. We don't know all interactions of all medication, so we can not give an exclusive list of which are "harmless". Sleeping pills are not, as I have just shown with this example. Neither are pain killers nor headache pills. – Narusan Mar 8 '17 at 19:12
  • 2
    The point I'm trying to make: Your dentist does not need to know your full health background. Unless they are narcotising you, they don't need to know which surgeries you underwent. However, always give them a complete list of the pills you are taking. If you do not trust your doctor enough to do this, go to another one, as the patient-doctor relationship is clearly broken there. – Narusan Mar 8 '17 at 19:15
3

You should provide your dentist with a complete medical history and up to date list of all your medications. For example, endocarditis, inflammation of the lining of the heart, can be triggered by routine dental care. The ADA and AHA have guidelines when antibiotics should be taken prior to dental care. To give you an idea of the complexity, up until a few years ago it was recommended that patients with joint implants take antibiotics prior to dental care.

Drug interactions are another concern and in worse case scenarios you may not be conscious when medical decisions need to be made.

| |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.