The Future of Dentistry: What can we expect? Turn on the blender….this is a two-parter in one go…..

Psssssssssssssst – grab a beer, this is a long’un

From by Kimberly R. Miller, RDH, BSDH

The future of Dentistry is Wellness! With the innovation of salivary diagnostics, chair side blood testing and antioxidant screenings, we can preemptively uncover risk and treat to prevent instead of intervening in an already progressive disease process.

Salivary diagnostics can tell us which bacteria are present and in what concentration. These findings are important because periodontal pathogens must first establish a foot-hold before disease ensues. If we can,through sampling salivary pathogens,predict disease by either pathogen quality and quantity or genetic sensitivity, why not do so? Then our treatments will truly be aimed at prevention. What would the benefits be? No irreversible disease, no pathogens in high concentration entering the blood stream and the return to complete health through the elimination of the bacterial risk factors or by controlling the pathogens in the PST positive patient. Visit for more information.

Chair side blood testing, while new in the dental profession, has huge potential to become a screening tool to uncover diabetes, periodontal disease risk, low vitamin D levels and CRP levels. These are tools for prevention. If we could discover an issue prior to a physical manifestation and treat it to resolution, shouldn’t we do so? Don’t our patients deserve that level of sophistication in preventive care? Visit Use ‘frogz’ as the promotion code when you order.

Using a biophotonic scanner to determine the antioxidant levels in those patients who are battling periodontal disease or any other inflammatory disease is a viable option. Developed in 2005 by Pharmanex the biophotonic scanner tells the patient their antioxidant level. Antioxidant levels directly correlate to how long an individual will potentially live. The higher the score the longer you will potentially live. Those who suffer with periodontal disease have low antioxidant scores. Once again, if we can increase a patient’s antioxidant score and help prevent the onset of periodontal disease, why wouldn’t we want to do that? Read the white paper Nutritional Modulation of Periodontal Inflammation for more information.

As referenced in the past, the goal of the eChronicle initiative is to provide unique patient education and collegial education animations for the Oral Health viewer/readership. Blended learning is the sine qua non of education in today’s world.  There are certainly those who may question the concept, but “the times they are achangin”.  Blended learning has a unique transformative potential. 

Blended learning often refers specifically to the provision or use of resources which combine e-learning (electronic) or m-learning (mobile) with other educational resources, also called hybrid courses. Some would claim that key blended-learning arrangements can also involve e-mentoring or e-tutoring. These arrangements tend to combine an electronic learning component with some form of human interaction, although the involvement of an e-mentor or e-tutor does not necessarily need to be in the context of e-learning. E-mentoring or e-tutoring can also be provided as part of a “stand alone” (“un-blended”) e-tutoring or e-mentoring arrangement.

Heinze and Procter have developed the following definition for blended learning in higher education:

Blended learning is learning that is facilitated by the effective combination of different modes of delivery, models of teaching and styles of learning, and is based on transparent communication amongst all parties involved with a course.

Some of the advantages of blended learning include; cost effectiveness for both the accrediting learning institution and the learner, accessibility to a post secondary education, and flexibility in scheduling and timetabling of course work. Some of the disadvantages may include; computer and internet access, limited knowledge in the use of technology, study skills, problems which are similar to those who would be entering a physical learning institution.

It should also be noted that some authors talk about “hybrid learning” (this seems to be more common in Northern American sources) or “mixed learning”. However, all of these concepts broadly refer to the integration (the “blending”) of e-learning tools and techniques.

You are urged to comment on your interest in seeing Oral Health pursue this course.  The intention is to empower the readership/viewership to be part of the expanding education array of modalities; your comments will ensure we are charting the correct course……you could always let the “suits” do it for you but we know where that has led/will lead….

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