Malaysian Private Dental Practitioners’ Association president says patients’ dental and medical histories are pivotal in ensuring safe treatment.
PETALING JAYA: It is important for dentists to practise effective safeguarding measures to avoid issues of incompetency when carrying out a dental procedure.
These measures, Malaysian Private Dental Practitioners’ Association President Dr V Nedunchelian told The Star, included taking down notes on a patient’s medical and dental history, communication, and observation during treatments.
“We need to observe externally. We call it extra-oral examination like looking at the patient’s hands and face to see if they have other medical problems.
“Then, we go into intra-oral examination which is inside the mouth to see if there are any pathological signs, such as ulcers.
“Some people have ulcers in their mouth, but they could also have ulcers in their stomach so you need to see what medication can be given.”
He related his own experience with a patient who had a seizure after a dental procedure was completed.
“Her husband told me that she may have such attacks, so we took all the precautions.
“I did an extraction and we were talking and suddenly she had fits, but we handled it because we planned ahead, that is important.”
While not all patients can reveal their dental and medical histories, it is important that dentists have this information prior to treatment, added Dr Nedunchelian.
However, just to be safe, he urged dentists to practise other safety measures such as having oxygen tanks on standby and emergency drugs that could be administered whenever needed.
“If these safeguards are not followed, it may lead to incompetence of dental procedures in the industry,” he said.
Local dentists have come under the microscope following the death of the Deputy Prime Minister’s son-in-law earlier this month.
Syed Alman Zain, 44, the husband of Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s eldest daughter, Nurulhidayah, 37, passed away after treatment at a dental clinic in Bangsar.