February is designated as American Heart Month, and we should reflect on how we can make a difference in dentistry. The month of February is dedicated to bringing awareness to cardiovascular disease. As healthcare professionals, we all see patients who are impacted with this condition. Are you taking the time to educate your patients on the importance of their dental health and heart disease? Are you aware of how your daily protocols in our offices and clinics can impact your patients’ health?
According to the Centers of Disease Control, around 20.1 million American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease. This translates to the leading cause of death among men, women, and people of all cultural backgrounds. As dental health professionals, you are often the only provider that a patient will sees most often. We should remember that a thorough medical history is the best source of information. Cardiovascular disease is tightly intertwined with dental health on many levels. Poor oral health can lead to a host of complications with the heart and other organs. Bacteria that infect periodontal health has been found in patients with atherosclerosis. Helping our patients control harmful bacteria in their oral cavity can improve other health functions.
Dental Health Professionals play an important role in patients overall health care. Check your protocols in place at your office. Are you and your staff current with your CPR certification? Have you checked your AED batteries recently? Is your office staff aware of what to do in a medical emergency? When was the last time your medications have been inspected for expired drugs. Take the time to ensure that your staff are working in a safe environment and that your patients are receiving safe care.
- Deanna Otts-Whitfield, RDH, BSDH, MSHQS
Dental Compliance Specialists helps make dental offices safer for patients, dentists and their employees. We help our clients develop and maintain their compliance programs including OSHA/Infection Control, HIPAA, DEA regulations and prescribing practices, Radiation Safety, OIG/Medicaid Compliance, Record Auditing, and more by providing actionable systems, easy-to-use tools, robust training, and accountability. Most of our clients have never been in trouble and want to keep it that way. Sometimes, though, dentists call when they are in trouble. In either case, we are there to make a meaningful difference. If you need help call us at 817-755-0035.