Medicine and dentistry converging

Among the latest developments in clinical dentistry has been the evolution from treating the results of caries to preventing it to assessing its risk factors, Dr. Joel Berg said as he opened the first DPRWorld08 panel discussion, “Emerging Technologies in Prevention Diagnosis and Treatment.”

That shift, in turn, has led to a medical approach to managing caries—namely, as a bacterial disease.

New methods of identifying a patient’s bacterial loads, such as CAMBRA (caries management by risk assessment), have been accompanied by increasingly popular methods of thwarting germs from gaining the upper hand, such as fluoride varnishes and remineralization.

Dentists also will be assuming a greater medical role—working more closely with patients’ physicians—as more becomes known of the oral/systemic link, added panel member Dr. Louis Rose, DDS, MD, professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania dental school. For instance, “there most likely is a cause-and-effect associated with periodontal disease and diabetes,” he said.

“Periodontal disease leads to a higher rate of severe complications [among diabetics], so management of the disease is essential.”

~ by cwaring on May 15, 2008.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.