As I reexamined the skull from my dental school days, I saw the obvious dental decay, periodontal disease and an abscessed tooth. As a young dental student, I didn’t know to look any deeper than that.
You can’t live a long healthy life with unhealthy teeth and gums. The life story the skull in my office closet told me is evidence of that.
After more than 30 years of serving my community in my private practice and through my ongoing research into the connection between oral health and physical health, I was able to see this skull in a different light. Closer examination revealed a severe abscess on an upper molar with severe bone loss, likely ending this woman’s life—a completely treatable and preventable condition.
5 Steps to Improved Oral Health
Bring comprehensive oral health to your practice and improve your ability to give your patients a longer, healthier life. You can start with 5 easy steps to help your patients avoid heart attack, stroke, diabetes and other conditions linked to oral inflammation.
Integrate these 5 simple steps into your current processes right now:
Step 1: Coordinate with physicians to test your patients. The Lp-PLA2 blood test is the only test that is FDA approved to help assess risk for both heart attack and stroke. Early detection and aggressive treatment can help prevent these cardiovascular events.
Step 2: Quantify risk levels. MyPerioPath ® and MyPerio ID® PST® are simple salivary diagnostic tests that allow you to screen for certain bacteria and individual genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease. It takes only about a minute and can be integrated into your patients’ semiannual checkups.
Step 3: Communicate with the physician. Speak to your patients’ physician and discuss disease risk and patient care.
Step 4: Coordinate care and treatment plans. Coordinating care is the best way to ensure your patients receive the level of care they require.
Step 5: Reevaluate and quantify. Utilizing the Lp-PLA2, MyPerioPath®, and MyPerio ID® PST® tests will give you a baseline to measure improvement and adjust treatment plans as necessary.
These five steps will give you a closer took into your patients’ overall health, which will save lives. See how a comprehensive approach to oral care can make a difference in your practice and for your patients.
I’d love to hear from you. What challenges have you faced when offering your patients a comprehensive approach to oral care?