Dental professionals are being held responsible for recognizing their patients’ areas of poor health, especially outside their mouths. In a recent survey conducted by Oral Health Group*, 85 per cent of dentists said they perform some form of health assessment on their patients as part of their regular exam.
When asked about the types of checks done on their patients, 93 per cent confirmed they perform an oral cancer screening. While one of the most common, and widely discussed, responsibilities of dental professionals, the survey also found 71 per cent check for blood pressure during a regular patient exam and 40 per cent for diabetes.
We anticipate to see these numbers increase over the next few years as the pressure rises for dentists to complete more assessments and hold the responsibility of recognizing these health risks. With more than 11 million Canadians living with diabetes, and many symptoms relating directly to their oral health, it shouldn’t be a surprise that patients, professionals and the media are expecting more from their dental visits.
Let us know: What do you check for during patient exams?
*Between February and March 2018, RKI, a third party independent research house, conducted a 10-minute online survey of active, practicing non-hospital affiliated dentists and dental specialists on behalf of Oral Health. Using Oral Health’s subscription list, a total of 398 dentists participated in the study (with 219 completing the survey to the end). Assuming a total of 20,000 dentists in Canada (and 398 total completes) the margin of error for the survey is +/- 4.86, 95% CI.