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  • Sylvie Haber, CFE

Handling Patients and Premedications Properly

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

Everyday at your dental office is the same. Roughly, the day consist of the same procedures with different patients. But sometimes a patient comes in and throws the day through a loop. Quite often enough, it is a patient that has an extensive medical history, which may require him or her to pre-medicate with antibiotics prior to any dental procedure. So, you may think to yourself, what is the next step?

Before the Doctor sees the patient and although obvious, it is important to review the patients medical history especially if they have had any recent joint replacements, heart issues, or any serious ailments. The Doctor should be informed of the patients medical history and should review it with the patient before starting any treatment. From there on, the Doctor can decide if a medical clearance needs to be obtained from the patients’ Physician.

Also, if the patient informs the Doctor that his or her Physician recommended that he or she must take antibiotics before any dental treatment or if the Dentist feels that it is necessary, then a medical clearance from the patients Physician should be obtained.

Below are steps to follow in obtaining a medical clearance:

  1. Obtain a phone number, fax number, or email for the patients Physician so that you can send a medical clearance request.

  2. Before you send the request, make sure that the patient signs off stating that you can send his or her health-related information and proposed treatment.

  3. In the request, include the proposed treatment for the patient and have the Physician include whether or not the patient should be taking pre-med Antibiotics.

  4. The Physician must sign-off on the medical clearance.

Once the medical clearance has been obtained, the Doctor can then prescribe pre-med Antibiotics for the patient and start the proposed treatment. Before any appointment where the patient is required to take pre-med Antibiotics, it is important that you have your patient sign a consent form stating that he or she took the pre-med Antibiotics. Although, we would all like to believe our patients, it is best practice to obtain a signature to protect the practice, the Doctor, and hold the patient accountable.

In general, obtaining a signed consent from patients that are required to pre-medicate before their appointments is a good habit that should be formed in the office culture. This habit can be formed by following the steps highlighted about. Remember, not only are you protecting the office and the Doctor but also the patient is protected. In turn, creating a more pleasant experience for the patient and staff. If you would like a copy of this consent form, please email us at

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