|Welcome to 2021 and the unique challenges we face in this new decade which has brought with it a variety of unique events and challenges including the continuation of a worldwide pandemic.
Those in the dental profession seem to be doing an excellent job of protecting their staff and patients from the spread of the disease. It has become abundantly clear of the need to integrate oral health into overall health among health providers, and especially our patients. The link/association of oral diseases, i.e. periodontal disease to diabetes, heart issues and behavioral issues continue to emerge.
To help respond to this compelling need my friend and colleague, Dr. Tony Hashemian, and I have created a 501C3 nonprofit organization Global Smile Health. Together, we have created DrHealthyMouth – www.DrHealthyMouth.org to help raise the oral health literacy of current and future patients while educating the dental team. This team includes dentists, hygienists, therapists dental assistants along with medical colleagues about the importance of knowing the social determinants of health, which are potential health and social service professionals in communities available for collaboration.
Healthcare providers need to expand the use of shared health records and fully utilize the oral health team to build trust and demonstrate empathy toward their patients. Patients want to know dental providers not only care about their teeth but about their overall health as well. As I remind my colleagues, it’s not just about teeth, but the person attached to the teeth, their family attached to the patient and the community attached to the family.
Below a brief video about my new project “Dr.HealthyMouth.” Please check it out.