The Importance of Patient Medical Histories for Surgical Procedures like All on 4 Implants

You may wonder why it is you need to have your detailed medical history taken down when you go to the dentist, but this exhaustive ‘paperwork’ is extremely important, especially in preparation for dental implant procedures, such as the All on 4! It’s not only intended to protect you, but also to ensure the maximum possible success of dental surgeries. Understanding your medical history, the current conditions you may present with and your overall fitness provides the dentist with a much clearer picture of your health, which is essential to take into consideration when planning complex dental procedures and surgery.

This is especially the case for older patients who are on a variety of medications for a spectrum of chronic conditions. By knowing what these medications are and their possible interactions with, for example, anesthesia, dental implants experts in Houston can avoid putting patients in unnecessary danger. Quite simply, conducting a rigorous assessment of a patient’s current health and medical history can be pivotal in ensuring the success of dental implant procedures and avoiding possible complications.

Dental Implant Surgery: Complicating Factors

There are a number of medical conditions that can pose serious challenges for dentists who specialize in the placement of dental implants. These include lung disorders, cardiovascular disease, thrombotic disorders, hypertension and diabetes. Most of the patients who present with these conditions are older and are on a great variety of medications, such as Plavix and Coumadin, which are beta blockers. These medications can give rise to complications during surgery.

For example:

  • Patients with thrombotic (blood clotting) disorders, may face risks associated with dental surgery, such as the migration of blood clots or excessive bleeding. Houston dental implant specialists must be careful to achieve a balance between the length of time it takes for blood clots to form at the surgical site, which is essential for stopping the bleeding, versus the length of time the patient can actually go without taking any blood thinning medicine.
  • Dental healthcare professionals should also be careful of prescribing NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) analgesics to patients with a history of heavy post-operative bleeding.
  • The patients who take aspirin daily as a measure against heart attacks are cautioned not to on the day of their All on 4 surgery as this might encourage bleeding.
  • Diabetics should undergo diagnostic tests – such as a hemoglobin count – prior to dental surgery. This aids the dentist tremendously in treatment planning.
  • Anesthesia can be a challenge for patients who suffer from respiratory disorders or have, in the past, had difficulty tolerating anesthetic agents. For patients with lung diseases, the depth and duration of sedation must be calculated very carefully to prevent any risk of respiratory failure.

The Delicate Balance between Patient Health and Procedural Complexity

There is really an intricate relationship between a patient’s medical history and their candidacy for certain dental procedures, especially surgery required for dental implants. A detailed medical history combined with certain diagnostic tests helps the implant dentist gauge an appropriate and safe relationship between patient health and procedural complexity. If they don’t take these factors into account, certain complications could arise that could be quite dangerous for the patient and end up compromising the success of the surgery.

As a patient, you must be completely honest and thorough in your provision of your medical and drug history. Every single medication or supplement you’re on, whether it’s prescription or over-the-counter, has the potential to affect your Houston dental implant surgeon’s decision-making regarding post-procedural pain and infection medications, as well as anesthesia.

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