Rethinking the Dental Examination

It’s 2018 and I am dumbfounded by the number of adult new patient appointments that begin in the hygiene chair. We all recognize this is an ‘old school’ practice, but maybe we still secretly believe it’s the right thing to do for our patient. Maybe we somehow believe it’s financially beneficial to the practice. Neither of these could be further from the truth. The dental examination of today is all about the patient of today. From a health standpoint, the patient of today is more complica...
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Oral HPV Awareness Campaign: Part 2

Currently about 72% of all OPCs (Oropharyngeal Cancers) are the results of an oncogenic HPV infection—and very few of these cancers are found in the front of the mouth. HPV-Oral Pharyngeal Cancer (HPV-OPC) develops at the deep base of the tongue or behind of the curtains of the tonsillar pillars. Sadly, there is no effective screening method for early cancer detection. While we fumble with the words to say and the warnings to issue, we are literally watching the HPV epidemic unfold before...
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Oral HPV Awareness Campaign: Part 1

As a Total Health Dental Practice, there was one particular oral disease my team was not comfortable discussing—even though it is deadly and its epidemic has escalated to horrific proportions. You guessed it…HPV-related Oral Pharyngeal Cancer (OPC). Don’t get me wrong; our responsibility to complete our 9-point screen for oral cancer is routinely completed. But we knew the screening exam—was completely ineffective in screening for the risk of HPV-OPC. In brainstorming about our weakness, ...
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