In any dental treatment, a baseline patient’s data must be acquired before commencement. These data includes the patient’s chief complaint, medical history, family history and social-behavioral history. During the initial orthodontic/ braces consultation, the orthodontist will usually inquire the reason why the patient is seeking orthodontic/ braces treatment. He/ she will usually probe whether the patient is seeking functional or aesthetic improvement or both.
Dental health is significantly associated with the overall health, which is why it is also important to obtain the medical history before starting orthodontic/ braces treatment. The orthodontist should ask several important questions when he/ she is obtaining the medical history. The questions that must be asked includes the last time the patient saw a physician, any hospitalizations, medical disease or condition and any medications the patients currently is taking. Also, important questions to include are allergies especially latex or nickel sensitivity (latex gloves and elastics and wire and brackets containing nickel are encountered during orthodontic treatment), history of blood transfusions (because of the greatly increased chance of hepatitis or human immunodeficiency virus exposure) and heart problems such as mitral valve prolapse or rheumatic fever (antibiotic prophylaxis is required for invasive procedures in the presence of these conditions).
The oral health certainly is needed to be acquired as part of the patient’s data. The orthodontist must check for any signs of periodontal disease or potential mucogingival problems as it is the most common reason for malpractice claims against orthodontist.
Other records that are needed to be taken prior to starting orthodontic/ braces treatment are dental casts and occlusal records, facial photographs, intra-oral photographs, and cephalometric radiographs. The purpose of these records is to document the patient’s initial condition.