Dentists are in the first line of discovery and defense of many systemic diseases.
We are often the first ones to discover diabetes, sleep apnea and oral cancer.
The three serious conditions listed above are all too frequently under-diagnosed.
New tools and techniques are now available for dental professionals to be able
to do far more as comprehensive caregivers for their patients.An interdisciplinary approach, enabling conferencing and sharing of information
between patients' full medical teams will provide the most reliable diagnosis
and optimal treatment.Oral Cancer Screening
-Oral cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer.
-It can form in any part of the mouth or throat.
-Most oral cancers begin in the tongue and in the floor of the mouth.
-Anyone can get oral cancer, but the risk is higher if you are male, over age 40,
use tobacco or alcohol or have a history of head or neck cancer.
-The methods in use for oral cancer screening have been cumbersome and costly.
-Dentists now have an easy to use and economical system for oral cancer
screening and are calling this a "gamechanger". - "Oral ID" has an impressive record of evidence-based testing, is sought after
because of its non invasive ease of usage, and its very affordable cost.
Sleep Apnea Screening
-Patients are realizing how a blockage of oxygen to the brain, caused by
nocturnal apnoeic events, can influence systemic damage.
-Sleep Apnea is connected to strokes, cardiac arrest, diabetes and dementia.
-The public asks their dentists for help- most dentists are unprepared.
-Less than 1% of practicing dentists are trained and qualified to screen and treat
the over 40 million victims of Sleep Apnea.
-One of the next three patients that walk thru your doors is a Sleep Apnea victim.
-Are you prepared to help them?
Diabetes MellitusThe oral manifestations of diabetes include:-Periodontal Disease, Xerostomia, tenderness, pain and burning sensation
of tongue, secondary enlargement of parotid glands with sialosis.
-Increased caries prevalence in adults.
-Increased risk of infection- reasons unknown, but macrophage metabolism
altered with inhibition of phagocytosis.
-Peripheral neuropathy and poor peripheral circulation,
-Oral mucosal diseases including Candidal infections, lichen planus and
recurrent aphthous stomatitis.-Delayed healing of wounds due to microangiopathy and ultilization of protein
for energy may retard the repair of tissues.
-Increased prevalence of dry sockets.
-Immunological deficiency: -A high sugar medium decreases
production of antibodies.Blood pressure and other "vitals"Imagine administering a mandibular block, having your patient go into
cardiac arrest, and realizing that no one in your office has taken that patient's
blood pressure today.
Enough said about that!
Are you providing a Comprehensive Exam?
A new mobile diagnostic platform driven by a laser diode can identify the 11 most relevant periodontitis pathogens in less than 30 minutes rather than in four to six hours. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI; Leipzig, Germany) have collaborated with two companies, BECIT GmbH (Wolfen Germany) and ERT-Optik (Ludwigshafen, Germany), to develop a lab-on-a-chip module called ParoChip. In the future, this will allow dentists, hygienists, and medical labs to prepare samples quickly and then analyze the bacteria. All steps in the process–the duplication of DNA sequences and their detection–take place directly on the platform, which consists of a disk-shaped microfluidic card that measures around six centimeters in diameter.
Dentists use sterile paper points to remove bacteria from the tooth. (Image courtesy of Fraunhofer IZI)
The analysis is conducted in a contactless and fully automated manner. Samples are taken using sterile, toothpick-shaped paper points, after which the bacteria are removed from the point and their isolated DNA injected into reaction chambers containing dried reagents. There are 11 such chambers on each card, each featuring the reagent for one of the 11 periodontal pathogens. The total number of bacteria is determined in an additional chamber via polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which allows millions of copies of even tiny numbers of pathogen DNA sequences to be made. In order to generate the extremely quick changes in temperature that are required for PCR, the disk-shaped plastic chip is attached to a metal heating block with three temperature zones and mechanically turned so it passes over these zones. This causes a fluorescent signal to be generated that is measured by a connected optical measuring device featuring a fluorescence probe, a photodetector, and a laser diode. The key benefit is that the signal makes it possible not only to quantify each type of bacterium and thus determine the severity of the inflammation, but also to establish the total number of all the bacteria combined. This enables doctors to fine-tune an antibiotic treatment accordingly.
“As the connected optical measuring system allows us to quantify bacteria, ParoChip is also suited to the identification of other bacterial causes of infection, such as food-borne pathogens or those that lead to sepsis,” says Dirk Kuhlmeier, a scientist at the IZI. “Using ParoChip does away with many of the manual steps that are a necessary part of current bacteria tests. The synthetic disks can be produced cheaply and disposed of after use in the same way as disposable gloves.”
Already available as a prototype, ParoChip is initially intended for use in clinical laboratories; however, it could also be used by dentists, and hygienists to carry out in-house analysis of patient samples in their own practice.