The exponential growth in the population of older adults who live with chronic and complex diseases, and an increased number of overweight and obese adolescents at risk for diabetes coupled with the shortage of primary healthcare providers (e.g., physicians and nurses), establish a compelling rationale for oral healthcare providers (OHCPs) to render care more as non-physician primary care practitioners. The most obvious example of these primary care services is screening for various medical conditions.
Although OHCPs cannot diagnose medical conditions, they can use questionnaires, visual examination, manual measurements and salivary diagnostics to screen patients for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, poor glycemic control, hypertension, dermatological lesions, various cancers, eye sight, depression, biometric health, and a number of infectious diseases. Indeed, we are entering a new era in healthcare when medical-dental integration has already began to evolve. Failure to embrace this change would forfeit one of the greatest opportunities OHCPs have ever had to define themselves within the healing arts.
This CE webinar advocates for the non-traditional role of OHCPs in screening patients for several noncommunicable diseases and explores the drivers of this transformation in dentistry and dental hygiene. Several technologies for medical screening (chairside) will be introduced, including glucose and lipid analyses. Challenges to implementing these non-traditional services into the dental practice will also be discussed. The CE webinar concludes by inviting participants to take part in a poll that will seek to determine OHCPs’ attitudes about implementing medical screening, their feelings of competency to perform these procedures, and education and training necessary to be successful in this new practice paradigm.
Upon completion of this CE webinar, participants will be able to:
• Discuss the rationale for utilizing OHCPs for medical screening.
• Consider implementation of chairside medical screening for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
• Recognize the challenges in implementing medical screening with the dental setting.
• Be aware of attitudes about implementing this new practice paradigm and identifying areas where more education and training is necessary to be successful in implementing medical screening in the dental setting.
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