A peer-reviewed article written by Katrina M. Sanders, RDH, BSDH, MEd, RF, and Elizabeth A. Sanders, DPM, DADPM, AACFAS
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder affecting an estimated 463 million people or one in 11 adults worldwide. As research unpacks the codependent relationship between diabetes mellitus and a variety of diseases of oral origin, dental providers become an integral aspect to the identification, counseling, and referral of at-risk patients. Moreover, dental professionals are now encouraged to take an active role in the early identification of diabetes through hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing, which strengthens a partnership between primary care providers and dental specialties while enhancing multidisciplinary involvement in optimal patient care. This article investigates the risks as well as signs and symptoms associated with undiagnosed diabetes mellitus, the manifestations of diabetes mellitus, and the step-by-step process for integrating HbA1c testing in the dental practice.
Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:
- Understand the current scientific literature indicating implications for incidence and prevalence of diabetes mellitus and oral disease, as well as the signs and symptoms of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus in the dental patient.
- Review the oral manifestations as well as the systemic sequelae of diabetes mellitus, while identifying the risk factors and potential shared etiologic factors associated with diabetes mellitus and oral disease.
- Discuss the opportunities for cotherapeutic management of diabetes mellitus and associated complications including counseling strategies and guidelines for the implementation of dental services for patients with diabetes.
- Identify the clinical provision, indications, and process for gathering hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) point-of-service tests in the dental office while utilizing the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT)-approved code.
Katrina M. Sanders, RDH, BSDH, MEd, is a clinical dental hygienist, author, and international speaker. She is the clinical liaison to Hygiene Excellence and Innovation for
AZPerio. Known as “the dental resultant,” Katrina is cofounder of the Core Group LLC, a boutique-style consulting firm focused on high-level standards, excellence, and production. She is the founder, CEO, and keynote speaker for Sanders Board Preparatory; a published author with Dentaltown and Today’s RDH; a columnist and advisory board member for Modern Hygienist; and brand ambassador for Dimensions of Dental Hygiene.
Elizabeth A. Sanders, DPM, DADPM, AACFAS, is a foot and ankle surgeon in private practice in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She completed her doctor of podiatric medicine degree at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. She completed a foot and ankle surgical residency at Boston University Medical Center and a two-year advanced reconstructive foot and ankle fellowship at University Hospitals Regional Hospitals in Chardon, Ohio. Her passions include trauma, foot and ankle reconstructive procedures, diabetic limb salvage reconstruction, and multidisciplinary academia.
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