The science is increasingly showing that diabetics benefit from improved periodontal health. For example, a new controlled study report that glycated hemoglobin levels (HbA1C) stabilize if not improve for a period of 6 months after one session of scaling and root planing (SRP).

With this is encouraging news, we need to begin to consider the practical realities of delivering SRP and other interventions (e.g. Prevora) as part of diabetes disease management.

In Ontario, the family physician is incented to recall the (unstable) diabetic for frequent testing and counseling. Every 3 to 6 months, A1C is measured along with weight, blood pressure and diet patterns. As required, the physician adjusts medication and advises on behavior modification.

But what if the physician also recommended the diabetic patient have a consultation with the resident hygienist at the same appointment and in the same practice?  And what if the hygienist found the diabetic patient to have periodontal disease and could recommend a treatment plan starting then and there?

Lots of what ifs. CHX is working with a medical practice to examine this new channel for hygiene services.

Stay tuned.

 

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