Royal College of
Dental Surgeons of Ontario
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Frequently Asked Questions

    How should dentists clean their hands between patients? Do dentists need to wear gloves and masks? Do dentists need to sterilize instruments between patients? How do dentists evaluate sterilizing conditions and the effectiveness of sterilization procedures? How do dentists disinfect surfaces and what do they do with surfaces that can’t be disinfected? Why does my dentist want to know about my medical history? Why does my dentist want to call my physician or pharmacist? Why does my dentist want to take my blood pressure? I went to the dentist and they gave a medical history form with so many questions. If I don’t want to answer any questions about my medical history, can my dentist still treat me? Why does my dentist need to know about the medications, non- prescription drugs or herbal supplements that I take? The medical questionnaire included questions about my drinking and smoking habits, as well as questions about my recreational drug usage. Are these questions appropriate? How relevant can they be to a dentist? What does the RCDSO recommend to dentists when treating patients with prosthetic joints? What are the recommendations under this consensus statement? Why is the consensus statement is important? Who is responsible for determining if antibiotic prophylaxis is required for dental procedures? What happens if there is a disagreement between the dentist and the physician regarding the decision to prescribe antibiotic prophylaxis? I have a heart condition. What is the current guideline on antibiotic prophylaxis for the prevention of infective endocarditis? I have a stent. Do I require antibiotic prophylaxis? I just had heart surgery. Do I require antibiotic prophylaxis? I’ve had a heart valve replacement. Do I require prophylactic antibiotics? I have a heart condition that puts me at high risk for the development of infective endocarditis and I forgot to take the prescribed antibiotics before my dental appointment. What should I do? How long must my dentist keep my dental records? How about my financial records? How long should these records be kept? For how long are my stone models kept? After the record retention period has passed, how do dentists destroy the records that are no longer needed? Who owns the patients’ dental records? If my dentist passes away, what will happen to my dental records? Can my dentist store my archived records off-site? Can my dentist e-mail my x-ray images and other records to another dentist? Am I entitled to copies of my dental records? Can I have my original dental x-rays? Can my dentist charge me for the release of dental records? Can I request copies of dental records for my spouse and children? What would be considered a reasonable time for the release and transfer of records? Can a dentist withhold the release of my dental records because I owe the dentist money? Are there any circumstances when original dental records can be released? A member of my family is deceased. Can I request a copy of their dental records from the dentist?