Rutgers School of Dental Medicine is proposing a new precedent: for dentists to screen their patients for diabetes.
Each year, according to Dean Cecile A. Feldman, 27 million Americans see their dentist but not their primary physician. “Many patients seeking care here are either diabetic or prediabetic but haven’t been diagnosed and don’t know they’re at risk,” she reports.
The two-year program is intended to screen up to 500 patients and train dental students to identify at-risk patients, most of whom are 55+. Those showing a moderate or high risk are advised to visit their primary physician, a Rutgers School of Nursing clinic, or University Hospital.
“Early diagnosis enables patients to manage the disease and prevent serious complications such as neuropathy and cardiovascular disease,’’ says Feldman. Her hope is that diabetes screenings by dentists will become routine.
As the list of reasons to see your dentist regularly continues to grow, dental coverage from your association and AMBA could save you thousands on everything from routine visits to expensive procedures. Many dentists now screen for high blood pressure, and diabetes could be next.
Thanks to Rutgers School of Dental Medicine for stepping up.