Disease and Drugs in the Dental Patient
Gusfa, Steven J.
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As dentistry continues to advance into new arenas and areas of increasing technology and development, it is confronted by new challenges. These multiform challenges include the problem addressed by this research. Dental techniques and treatment plans are evolving and becoming more complex and specific. As expected, many complications are encountered when these specific therapies interact with existing medical conditions. For example, a dental patient with a heart murmur must be pre-medicated before receiving almost any dental treatment. This forces practitioners to constantly monitor the medical history and present condition of their patients. Part of the current antidote to this problem includes the medical health questionnaire. The practice of using a medical health questionnaire was not commonly accepted until the 1950's and has since evolved into a somewhat complex document. Today, almost every dental clinic has its own individual medical health form. Throughout the country the number and topic of questions varies but not greatly. The purpose of this study was to take advantage of the information contained in the medical health questionnaire in order to answer other questions raised by the dental community. Practitioners today must be prepared for medically compromised patients. Regardless of age, gender, or race, any individual could provide an incredible challenge to even the best dentists. This study aims to paint a picture of an average dental patient from several different age groups. In effect, with the information obtained from this study, the dental practitioner should have some guidelines as to what to expect when that new patient enters the room. In addition, this study will provide information regarding the demographics of a dental school population and how they compare to those of private practice.