Going to the dentist used to be about teeth cleanings, filling cavities, pulling wisdom teeth, possibly a root canal and learning if braces were in your future. Not any more, as medical research is continually uncovering strong links between the health of your mouth and the overall health of your entire body. Modern medicine has shown that bacteria, infection and inflammation in your mouth can lead to problems in the rest of your body. We now know that there is a direct relationship between periodontal (gum) disease and diabetes, heart disease, stroke, pancreatic cancer and even early term pregnancy. Given these important findings, the dentists at The Dental Care Group are at the forefront of taking a holistic approach to treating their patients.
Upon first visiting The Dental Care Group, patients are asked to complete a detailed medical history. Then, before any treatment is begun, each patient will have their blood pressure taken. On multiple occasions, when extremely high blood pressure has been detected, patients have been sent directly to their physician's office or to the hospital to seek urgent care as their previous undetected problem required immediate attention.
Next, in addition to routine radiographs, a panoramic radiograph is performed. Panoramic x-rays are very high tech and cover a broader area than conventional intraoral x-rays and, as a result, provide valuable information. They can reveal an existing issue or potential problems such as advanced periodontal disease, oral cysts, tumors and oral cancer, impacted teeth, TMJ and sinusitis.
Patients are then offered the opportunity to take a simple OralDNA® salivary test. This test analyzes a patient’s saliva to determine if there are elevated levels of bacteria by identifying and analyzing 11 different types of microbes related to periodontal disease. Patients with elevated bacteria levels are prescribed customized hygiene procedures and antibiotics which target the specific bacteria at issue, thereby eliminating a risk factor for other medical problems.
A six-step oral cancer screening is also conducted. Using this process, the health professionals at The Dental Care Group have identified cases of oral cancer at their earliest stages enabling patients to successfully treat their disease. As part of their dental team, The Dental Care Group has a board certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon on staff to develop a specific treatment plan if oral cancer is present.
At the end of the visit each patient is educated about the latest in dental stem cell research. When teeth come out during normal dental care, the stem cells inside can be saved for future potential medical or dental use. Patients can opt to preserve stem cells from baby teeth, wisdom teeth or healthy teeth extracted for orthodontic reasons.
The doctors at The Dental Care Group plan for the immediate and long term health of their patients. Dr. Mars, Dr. Glicksman or Dr. Coussa review all of the above information with each patient and discuss their personalized road map to achieving a healthy mouth, a healthy body and a beautiful, confident smile. Through continuing education and the acquisition of the latest technology, the doctors practice a holistic approach which provides total health and wellness for their patients.
Edited by: Madison Mills