One of the things that Dr. Dawson has taught us over the years is that part of being a complete dentist is really being a physician of the masticatory system.
As our understanding of Dentistry’s role in whole health advances, we have increasingly meaningful conversations with our patients and community. One of my patients is a wonderful physical therapist, who is strongly committed to educating her patients about whole health subjects, including oral health. She has asked me to write several articles for her practice newsletter.
This month we discussed obstructive sleep apnea and systemic inflammation. Below is how we explain a complicated subject as simply as possible, communicating the role of the dental team in whole health.
Perhaps you have opportunities in your community, through your patients and medical colleagues, to get the word out, about Complete Dentistry from TMJ to smile design, and from sleep apnea to systemic inflammation!
You can really get involved in the broader spectrum of dentistry, taking the concepts that we’ve learned at The Dawson Academy and expanding those into the whole body.
Today we have so many great things happening in the medical field. As you look here at the titles of books being written, you’ll notice each one of them are written by an M.D.
The emerging body of knowledge within oral-systemic science and the changing nature of the healthcare environment are having a dramatic impact on the practice of dentistry. In the coming years (or even months) dental professionals will be required to play a larger role in collaborative healthcare management teams, as community practice continues its transition to an inter-professional care model.
Current estimates indicate that 75% of the North American population has some form of periodontal disease with approximately 15% demonstrating severe disease. These untreated oral infections have systemic effects.
Supercentenarian Jeanne Calment from Aries, France, was born in 1875 and died in 1997, at the age of 122 years. When asked the secret to her record longevity, she answered, “Always keep your smile. That’s how I explain my long life.”
Though Ms. Calment may have been referring to a positive attitude, her words inadvertently had a scientific basis, related to oral health. Always keep your smile; meaning always keep your teeth and keep them healthy and free of disease. This will allow you to prolong your health and longevity.
With great enthusiasm, we’d like to introduce Oral Cancer Cause, Inc. (OCC), a non-profit 501(c) 3. OCC was founded this year by Linda Miles and Robin Morrison in memory of Charlotte Estep, Linda Miles’ sister-in-law, and Mike Collins, Robin Morrison’s brother. Charlotte and Mike passed away in 2012 after suffering for several years from oral cancer. Both went undiagnosed for an extended amount of time, thereby allowing their disease to progress to an advanced and untreatable stage. Linda and Robin have a combined 80+ years experience in dentistry. Their shared passion for dentistry and saving lives is the OCC inspiration.
By blending the knowledge of early detection and treatment; comprehensive oral exams along with dedicated dental/medical professionals; sponsoring partners; and dental/medical associations, OCC will make a difference in the lives of many oral cancer patients and their families.
OCC’s purpose is to improve the quality of life for oral cancer patients through financial support so that they may face the world with peace and dignity during and after medical treatment.
Who Can Join the Cause?
Are you a dentist who is committed to the overall health and wellness of your patient? Do you believe every patient should have an annual oral cancer screening, and do you provide that to your patients? Would you like to stand out in your community as a dentist who takes oral cancer and early detection/diagnoses seriously?
The Dawson Academy introduced a new curriculum based on emerging health care services for dentists during a live webinar Wednesday, Nov. 28.
This whitepaper covers:
- Facts about periodontal disease & oral HPV
- The benefits of salivary diagnostic testing
- Facts about salivary diagnostic tests
- Scaling and root planning resistant pathogens
- HPV patient profile
To download this whitepaper, click here.
Did you like this whitepaper? Our Alumni Association provides monthly webinars on both clinical and management topics. Dr. Angie Gribble Hedlund was our guest speaking on Salivary Diagnostics in June 2012. To find out more about watching this webinar and more, click here.
Our aim for children, not unlike yours, has remained clear: to help kids graduate from high school with skills and behaviors for a lifetime of dental health. During the last decade, we have witnessed more and more kids missing the mark, with increased decay and reduced plaque control. But something else was disturbing. Along with rising consumption of sugar-laden beverages and junk food came a decrease in physical activity and a marked increase in body fat storage.
I wanted to address obesity with my patients also—just like 51% of you do, according to a recent JADA cover article (Curran et al, Nov 2011). But few dentists are ready for that. Why? The reasons cited for not addressing obesity include lack of sensitivity training, expertise and effective tools to do so. Dental caries and obesity are clearly the two greatest health risks for kids, and both conditions are 100% preventable. Nutrition problems are not just a dental issue but a public health issue that will fall upon an already crippled health-care system. So who is listening?
Not our young patients, unfortunately—and herein lies another challenge. We “talk” our message to kids, but our words often fall on deaf ears. Generation Z is socially distracted beyond measure, preoccupied by whatever hand-held “app” they last loaded. Perhaps none of our brains are wired for teach-and-tell learning, but these kids are especially tuned out to the drone of an authoritarian teacher. Looking for a breakthrough, we decided to put learning into their own hands.
For more information on the SCIENCE Hands-On Learning Lab ™ visit www.HandsOnLearningLab.com.