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Amazing Things Dentists Can Do (Outside of Repairing & Replacing Teeth)

August 10th, 2009 · 2 Comments

dentists save lives

Saving lives? It’s all in a day’s work for a proactive dentist!

In this economy, dentists can increase their value to patients by offering dental-related, preventive services. Do you offer stem cell preservation? Do you look for signs of serious non-oral diseases during checkups? Do you treat obstructive sleep apnea and snoring? Do you offer early oral cancer detection? If not, maybe you should!

Stem cell preservation
In the past, stem cell preservation was isolated to extracting cells from a person’s umbilical cord at birth. Now, however, dentists can get in on saving lives! As a dentist, you can bank stem cells for your patients, which could actually save their lives down the road. Stem cells are used to heal bone, skin, cartilage, nerves, and muscles. They can treat diseases that range from Parkinson’s to Leukemia and far beyond. Adult stem cells are found in bone marrow and teeth. Baby teeth, wisdom teeth, and permanent teeth contain stem cells. They are the most powerful type of stem cells in the human body according to research, because they are fast replicators, and they replicate longer than those from other parts of the body. Age plays a factor, though. The younger the patient, the more active the stem cells. If you’re interested in learning how to preserve stem cells for your dental patients, visit:

Identifying symptoms for possible diseases
In an examination, dentists can identify symptoms that may indicate serious health problems. This puts dentists on the front line of defense for early detection, which can lead to early treatment and improved survival potential for patients. Dentists can assess for symptoms that my indicate these conditions:
• Acid reflux
• Bulemia
• Heart disease
• Kidney disease
• Leukemia
• Oral cancer
• Osteoporosis
• Pregnancy
• Sleep apnea
• Stress
• Type 2 diabetes symptoms

Treating obstructive sleep apnea
In North America, about 90 million people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that can increase risk for heart attack and sudden death. Patients who don’t respond well to a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine can turn to their dentist for a more comfortable option – an oral appliance. If you’re interested in offering OSA treatment at your dental practice, consult the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine for more information:

Early oral cancer detection
By the time oral cancer cells are visible in the mouth, a patient may face a significant potential for early death. The Oral Cancer Foundation tells us that 100 cases are diagnosed in the US every day. It is the sixth most diagnosed type of cancer in the US. Worldwide, about 481,000 cases are diagnosed annually. Oral cancer kills one person per hour, on average. Death is more prevalent with oral cancer than with cervical, laryngeal, testes, endocrine system, and skin cancer, as well as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. With new early oral cancer detection systems, dentists can identify the condition before the cells reach the surface. Half of patients diagnosed with oral cancer do not live five years. Early detection increases a person’s potential for cure to 90 percent!

Learn about early oral cancer detection tools for dentists here:

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