The mission of the Dental Wellness Center is to teach its patients about the unique nature of their oral status through a co-learning process between doctor and patient that empowers them to make informed choices regarding its future. Health is not a commodity that can be dispensed – it is the result of a dual commitment between the doctor and patient based on transparency and trust developed along a diagnostic path of co-discovery, resulting in patient confidence through the knowledge acquired therein.
Reduced Salivary Flow
Patients with diabetes may also experience dry mouth as a result of reduced saliva. Neuropathy and certain medications may be the cause of reduced salivary flow. Finney says that saliva is important to wash residue off teeth and gums and prevent tooth and gum disease. Ask your dentist about products that moisten the mouth or increase saliva.
Drinking lots of fluids may help alleviate the problem and there are products available that can help keep the mouth moist.
It's All Connected
The development of periodontal disease may reflect the presence of other problems related to blood glucose control such as retinopathy.
"Retinopathy and dental problems are closely related. If you look at a population that is having eye problems, that same population is likely to have dental problems. If a person is diagnosed with retinopathy, they should make sure that their mouth is being examined and the gums are healthy. Conversely, if there is serious gum disease there may be other diabetic complications taking place in the body," says Finney.
Problems that begin elsewhere in the body should also provide clues for health care professionals. The presence of microalbuminuria and neuropathy are signals to check the mouth for potential complications.
I can not do this alone…
I certainly cannot do this alone. My staff has been selected for their expertise and health-centered values, and has chosen to continue the learning process along with me. They also see the potential for self-fulfillment through what we are able to offer our patients. They know that a health-centered practice offers the most opportunity for patients who value their own health, and each member of my team strives to optimize this process to allow for excellence in dental care. My staff “walks-the-talk,” having committed to their own dental and general health, which gives them a fuller realization of what we are able to offer our patients.
It is a sad fact that many people fear the dentist and suffer irreversible dental damage, not because of “poor genes,” but because they never had the opportunity to develop a quality relationship with a health-centered dentist. My hope is that in sharing a little about myself and by defining the three main modes of dentistry, it will help you understand the choices that you have. Like I said, it’s all out there…if you’re looking for the “drill and fill,” you can find it in the yellow pages. If you want just the “cleaning and whitening,” just pick up that flier that comes in the mail every week. But if you truly want a dentist who will take the time to get to know you, to listen to your needs and help you to make informed choices about your dental future, with a dedicated staff that provides excellent personal service (regardless of what the insurance company dictates), then our practice is the place for you.