Can you communicate with physicians?

When I am asked by my colleagues to assist them in designing a “Medical Clearance Form”, the first thing I want to help them understand is that it is an impossibility to request a health care provider to “release” us from making the most sound, informed decisions for our patients. As Dentists, we alone are the source of the final decision as to the treatment readiness of our patients. If you feel that your dental treatment may be compromised in any way by a patient’s health, ask yourself one question: what am I the most concerned about? When you know that answer, then you’re ready for a discussion. Most patients that are currently taking anti-hypertensives will require modification in the amount of local anesthesia, specifically the concentration of epinephrine. Physicians are able to provide us guidelines for the use of Epi, but only if we can communicate with them in a language they understand. MD’s are trained to discuss micrograms of Epi, not carpules. If you are unfamiliar with the conversion of Epi in your anesthetics, drop me a line: I’d be happy to help. In order to become more like physicians of the mouth, let’s strive to improve our communication with medical doctors.

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