Should dentists offer health screenings?
December 15th, 2011
04:45 PM ET

Should dentists offer health screenings?

Each year, nearly 20 million men, women and children in the United States fail to see a family physician or similar health care professional, but they do pay at least one visit to the dentist, according to a new study in the American Journal of Public Health.

For this segment of the population, dentists may be the only doctors in a position to spot the warning signs of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, and provide referrals or advice to prevent serious complications, says Shiela M. Strauss, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and an associate professor at New York University's Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing.

Oral or dental abnormalities can signal a broad range of body-wide health problems, including HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, eating disorders, and substance abuse, in addition to diabetes. In a previous study, for instance, Strauss and her colleagues found that 93% of patients with gum disease (such as gingivitis) also met the criteria that should trigger blood-sugar screening under American Diabetes Association guidelines.

Health.com: Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes

"I'm not advocating for dentists to become general health care providers," Strauss says. But, she adds, dentists can easily measure blood pressure and administer simple screening questionnaires - both of which could potentially make a big difference to the health of someone at risk for diabetes who hasn't seen a doctor recently.

In the new study, Strauss and her team analyzed data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a nationally representative government-sponsored survey of health care use. In 2008, the researchers found, roughly one-quarter of adults did not see a physician, nurse practitioner, or other general health care provider - but of that group, 23% did see a dentist. The pattern was similar among children.

It's not clear what's leading these people to see a dentist but skip medical care. Most of the adults - and nearly all of the kids - had health insurance, so lack of coverage can't fully explain it. In fact, the authors note, the dentist-only group was "quite diverse" ethnically, socioeconomically and geographically.

Health.com: 20 things that can ruin your smile

It could be that dental problems - unlike some chronic diseases - are often too painful to ignore, Strauss says, or it could be that dentists are simply better than doctors at reminding patients when it's time for a checkup.

Getting dentists in the habit of screening for health conditions will probably require changes to dental-school curricula, the researchers say. However, dentists and dental hygienists are typically already trained to check blood pressure and conduct other types of general medical screening.

Health.com: Natural ways to lower blood pressure

And while they might be hesitant to take on more patient responsibilities, Strauss says, doing so may have unexpected benefits. She points to the experience of some Swedish dentists who participated in an insurance plan that required them to implement diabetes screening for their patients.

"The reputation got out there that these were dentists that really cared about the patients," she says. "It was an initial investment of a bit more time on the part of the dentist, but it reaped great rewards for them in terms of growing their practice."

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

Post by:
Filed under: Dental health • Health.com

soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. FhsnZisse

    buy online viagra actually pay with paypal viagra buy viagra sydney

    December 14, 2020 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. froleprotrem

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!


    January 4, 2021 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. froleprotrem

    Hiya very nice blog!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb .. I'll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I'm happy to find numerous helpful information here in the post, we want work out extra strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .


    January 6, 2021 at 07:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. FwsxEncox

    erectile dysfunction treatment drugstore cowboy online pharmacy reviews

    January 8, 2021 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. NllpZisse

    24 hour drug store http://pharmacy-onlineasxs.com/ legit online pharmacy

    January 9, 2021 at 21:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Rick Jerman


    January 10, 2021 at 03:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. FgvdZisse

    mexican pharmacy canadian online pharmacies canadian pharmacies

    January 11, 2021 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. LokuEncox

    the peoples pharmacy discount pharmacy online pharmacy no prescription

    January 11, 2021 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. JlloCrulk

    canadian pharmacies online canada drugs online 24 hr pharmacy near me

    January 12, 2021 at 01:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Vincenzo Depratt

    Hey There. I found your weblog using msn. This is a really neatly written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your helpful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.


    January 12, 2021 at 01:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. JtmfEncox

    canadian pharmacy reviews the pharmacy express scripts pharmacy

    January 12, 2021 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. NlbxZisse

    viagra canadian generic viagra vs cialis forum viagra walmart buy viagra paypal viagra cape town sale cheap generic viagra pills cheap generic viagra on line viagra dosage standard ordering viagra online legal indian pharmacy viagra buy generic viagra with mastercard nz viagra online viagra overnight no prescription viagra light buy viagra loest prise

    January 14, 2021 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. FgnhZisse

    viagra next day delivery without prescription by viagra online viagra coupons and discounts what works as well as viagra viagra without a perscription buy viagra without prescription over the counter viagra for sale free viagra canada canadian pharmacy cheap viagra generic viagra cost super viagra viagra canada no prescription generic viagra 100mg Г— 30 pills buy viagra pills 365 viagra for sale pay pal

    January 15, 2021 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. JvcxCrulk

    buy strong viagra ggeneric viagra for sale cialis or viagra viking_sun viagra viagra for sale onlkne lapela versus viagra generic viagra mastercard viagra in toronto mens generic viagra viagra for cheap on line viagra 50 mg generic viagra with daposetine generic vs brand name viagra buy viagra without prescription overnight shipping women viagra forum

    January 16, 2021 at 00:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Mickelljzv

    family by Tumblr

    planets contained in the 12th houseSun in 12th: this person gives you really by themselves for more information on most of the thinking, They is in addition awfully afraid and nothing like starting to be the focus. they are surely the psychologist comrade, almost all people will arrive to them because of recommendations; yet, many people by no means adhere its tips.

    moon around 12th: A very, very secret coupled with sensitive and vulnerable particular. each day might be in your mind a huge burden relating to customers so they need to escape to their home each once in awhile to gather their selves therefore. predatory instincts is very powerful as such placement.

    Venus during 12th: Doesn know about where by distinct sweetheart closes and they start, will blend with other people. are attracted to is always on their own brain working day and thus measures their daydreams often. these people are those that actually are pretty about their partners, they seem to get taken advantage of often. he or she discover the kind of person who is indirectly, Whether that is which is healthy or a bad thing. They commonly attracted to who find themselves emotionally unavailable nicely induced the boycott,steps away from in a way (reckon via the web unions, husbands and wives with imprisonment, and many others.)

    Mercury on 12th: innovative, subdued but also perceptive thinkers. by and large introverted that enjoy spending time alone grasping, expanding religious capabilitys or doing at least one beauty. might seem psychologically not open properly timid on explaining that feelings. is complete with specifics consulting plainly all around features, (esp. them) may ramble and leave observations. Likes to share occult values.

    Mars in about 12th: involves a fountain of youth of energy within just nonetheless they feel vulnerable in their own personal ability so no longer invest fourth because energy when it is about themselves. relatively giving people that give more of time to other than to themselves. too self-conscious to say on their or probably have hard times operating business the actual daring as such. their personal creative thinking is filled with awesome plans, They just need a little shove to get action current.

    Uranus by using 12th: offers a clear, bodily depend on for rush of freedom akin to period since options. consists of choose to change up the world indirectly; yet tend to shy away from functioning on this like thanks to not having self-esteem in order to Mars situated regarding. shows awfully thoughtful moreover unique smart ideas, these customers is often rather the excitement setters as soon as they gain additional belief on their own. is usually non selfish as long as it doesn hold back on the private independence.

    Neptune on the inside 12th: tremendously responsive to the sentiments related with a number (Esp the fearful ones) Tends to take on the emotions created by certain people and as a result deaden to them inside their mind and body. often times afraid coupled with low comfortable; can have a casualty hard to do when they sense you are life's not possible specific path and just brings about many more reclusive. unbelievably artsy, will be able talk volumes of prints equipped with a skilled of benefits the businesses result in. wish to be respected by individuals yet,yet somehow more often than not notice at a loss for the disorder of emotions mixed with their own.

    Pluto inside asiame.com 12th: Tends in an attempt to forget truth of the matter any way they're mainly because feel confined to the physical world's but they might be be more. might went through any damage into their days that will made them understanding of the anguish of other companies a/o completely lessen to their own pain (there are times both). Has an instinctive technique in talking to / relieving folks irritation furthermore torment. other types feel totally satisfied through these items as they are easy to understand on many ranges.

    Jupiter in 12th: generally usually orlando perhaps psychic not directly, Likes to glance at the overall dish. wants to help the others which enables them to go bankrupt a/o desolate accomplishing. does overspend always on ideas that aren necessary to ensure they happier. fortune tellers in addition to the empaths are simply this site; They want to learn as much as they possibly can in relation to mindset and moreover getting better. pass over really advice, nonetheless they might not abide by it their loved ones.

    Saturn near 12th: suffers from concerns as well as,while sense of guilt the fact doesn have a cause. does apprehension all anonymous (legitimate because it can operate) and consequently starting to be at a loss for the cruel realities in their time. the person that accepts your doubts and fears and shoves them up until they come intolerable and they experience them. enjoying or even inner requests also thoughts ensures they are appear insecure insecure, so they really have on do issues in the event they be sure about a player. is incredibly fixing towards their businesses so much that just distinct real bodily physical feels the stress.

    January 18, 2021 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. NlbxZisse

    buy cialis on line cialis original online viagra cialis canada http://cialijomen.com/ – cialis pay with paypal ’

    January 19, 2021 at 02:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Britt Rain

    También tenemos, en nuestras propias instalaciones, dos técnicos especializados en la reparación de redes y equipos informáticos.


    January 19, 2021 at 21:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. FbdhZisse

    generic cialis prices cialis no prescription cialis generic date http://21cialismen.com/ – cialis soft online ’

    January 20, 2021 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. JvcbxCrulk

    purchase cialis online canadian cialis vi order original cialis http://phrcialiled.com/ – buy cialis canada paypal ’

    January 21, 2021 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Madeleine Coppage


    January 21, 2021 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. LcxEncox

    50mg generic viagra buying viagra with next day shipping viagra over night online http://genqpviag.com/ – viagra australia free ’

    January 21, 2021 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. AqbvEncox

    doctor burlington vt viagra free trial online viagra in united states viagra gel karmagara australia http://acialaarx.com/ – discount viagra usa ’

    January 21, 2021 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. JbdcEncox

    buy viagra cheap buy viagra online express shipping buy viagra with echeck http://llviabest.com/ – online viagra, no prescription ’

    January 22, 2021 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. KbctMile

    bye cialis online from usa free cialis samples cialis 20 http://mycialedst.com/ – cheapest cialis in australia ’

    January 23, 2021 at 01:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. FmfvEncox

    cialis and no prescription cialis onlilne online cialis florida delivery http://sjcialis.com/ – buying cialis in australia ’

    January 23, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. NmilZisse

    viagra for women for sale viagra in qatar viagra onlin http://xz-pharmacyonline.com/en/career-opportunities.html – no prescription needed viagra australia ’

    January 23, 2021 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mercedes Taraschke

    En nuestro taller de mecanizados disponemos de unas instalaciones con centros de mecanizado y tornos CNC para fabricar cualquier tipo de pieza. Los trabajadores del taller de madera OWB encuentran un gran apoyo en el nuevo centro de mecanizado CNC PRO-MASTER 7018 de HOLZ-HER.


    January 24, 2021 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Leave a Reply to FqfEncox


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.