October is oral systemic health month.

October is Oral Systemic Health Month

10/21/21 10:10 PM
Ryan Palevsky
Case Acceptance

Help Your Patients Help Themselves

Can you relate to this story? 

Adrienne’s been coming to you for years. She’s happy with her smile, your service, and the dental care she’s received. She walks into the office after she’s finished with her own office job. She’s tired but pleasant yet you can sense she just wants your hygienist to get started and her favorite dentist to be quick in his consultation.

She’s got to get home and start her daughter’s science project that’s due on Thursday. She would like to think the kitchen won’t be cold and empty, that someone (maybe her eldest son, maybe her partner) saw the note on the kitchen table about the defrosted casserole in the fridge and setting the oven to 350.

Adrienne has lots of goodwill toward your practice but maybe not a lot of patience to listen to a crucial conversation about the connection between oral and systemic health. But as you know, these facts can quite literally save her life.


Help patients make better health decisions

It may be hard to get your patients like Adrienne educated about the connection between oral health and systemic cardiovascular threats, dementia, and other related conditions. We get it—folks aren’t used to going to the dentist to hear about their heart. Now, this free, high-quality Patient Education Kit (a $250 value) will help you grow your practice as well as help your patients make informed decisions about their protective wellness care.

Dentists can prove to be the first line of education for patients who are developing issues thanks to poor oral healthcare. In fact, research indicates patients are 24.1% more likely to visit the dentist as compared with an annual exam by a physician; thus, dental health professionals are in a position to be the first providers to detect systemic health conditions.

You can start a quick conversation chairside and then send her home with some great information. Perhaps one of your office team members follows up by phone to answer any questions. Maybe you have an email marketing campaign that can use these resources.


Learning in the lobby

Better yet, as Adrienne waits, you can have the 12-minute, lobby loop DVD playing, a DVD that’s got great production values and is packed full of the troubling ramifications of ignoring the systemic link between oral health and whole-body wellness. Adrienne’s playing Candy Crush on her phone but hears something crucial that can change her mind about going to the dentist.

Some of the facts:

  •     Periodontal disease has been associated with a number of health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
  •     Chronic inflammation in the mouth raises “levels of inflammatory markers in the bloodstream affecting immune response or adding to the body’s general burden of disease.” (ADA)
  •     Oral health may have a connection to pregnancy-related complications (AGD.org)


Don’t forget the Zs

Many dental offices are offering sleep studies, as well. Sleep apnea is one of the silent killers in our society. As you may know, the first signs are snoring and bruxism. The Journal of Dental Hygiene notes, “Dental hygienists are at a pivotal position to discuss risks, characteristics, medical referrals and treatment options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, as well as detect if an individual has OSA through questionnaires and other tools that can be done during an examination.” 

From the front desk to the hygienist to you, empower your teams with the Oral Systemic Patient Education Kit to open the lines of communication with patients in an impactful way. This can lead to happier patients, higher case acceptance levels, and a new line of defense for your community’s health. Isn’t that what it’s all about?