The length of my dental career has been shadowed by the declining health of our population. With great sadness, I have witnessed my patients arriving with new lists of lifestyle-related diagnoses and an assortment of medications, prescribed as “band-aids” for those ailments. In congruence, the ever-increasing prevalence of oral disease (caries, periodontitis, oropharyngeal cancer, and occlusal disease) has not surprised me. As a dedicated friend to my declining patients, I started looking for a better way to identify and treat these complexities—from a root cause perspective. I started calling it Total Health Dentistry.
On my quest for a root cause, I discovered a jewel—The American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH). This amazing group, a then-small group, of dentists and hygienists who banded around shared values, burning curiosity, and a determination to transform our profession, was something I knew I needed to be part of. AAOSH was founded in the emerging science that links periodontal disease to a litany of threatening systemic conditions such as Coronary Artery Disease. Since then, scientific evidence has flourished, along with “our” academy. Current evidence supports the mouth-body connections with diseases such as airway disorders, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, acid reflux, chronic systemic inflammation from food sensitivities, fungal infections, HPV, depression and so much more!
In my opinion, our patients’ weakened host-immune responses are largely a result of the most common disfunctions in our culture: a defective, sugared-up food supply, oxygen/sleep deprivation, and a sedentary lifestyle. When your patient visits us for their preventive appointments, they bring us all the telltale signs…in their mouths. Once you “see” them you can no longer “un-see” them. AAOSH has really helped me and my entire team illuminate these signs, get to root cause, and transform our treatment options. Moreover, the like-valued friendships and co-collaborative relationships we have made within AAOSH have been life-changing.
Beyond helping your patients, becoming a Total Health Dental practice, and following the principles of AAOSH will help your business:
- Attract health-valuing patients from a wide sweep around your practice location.
- Earn the trust you need to earn the right to do some significant restorative dentistry.
- Collaborate with other health professionals, build a remarkable network of co-referral relationships.
- Explore new technologies such as OralDNA® salivary diagnostics.
- Add value to your hygienists’ role and hygiene profitability through adjunctive testing.
- Through development of this sought-after niche of practice, you’ll get the golden keys to insurance independence, if that is something you seek.
If it’s time for you and your dental team to embrace a personalized model for dental care, focused beyond teeth and gums, you’re invited to come learn with us at Collaboration Cures, our very next LIVE gathering September 23-26, 2021! Click here to register.