Oral Health Group

Dentists Could Screen 20 Million Americans For Chronic Physical Illnesses

January 8, 2012
by ken

From Marty Jablow, DMD – Dental News and Technology

Nearly 20 million Americans annually visit a dentist but not a general healthcare provider, according to an NYU study published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study, conducted by a nursing-dental research team at NYU, is the first of its kind to determine the proportion of Americans who are seen annually by a dentist but not by a general healthcare provider. This finding suggests dentists can play a crucial role as health care practitioners in the front-line defense of identifying systemic disease which would otherwise go undetected in a significant portion of the population, say the researchers. “For these and other individuals, dental professionals are in a key position to assess and detect oral signs and symptoms of systemic health disorders that may otherwise go unnoticed, and to refer patients for follow-up care,” said Dr. Shiela Strauss, an associate professor of nursing at the NYU College of Nursing and co-director of the statistics and data management core for NYU’s Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry.

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