Case Study: Dental Hygienist with Type II Diabetes

Background: This patient is a 38-year-old female, who works as a dental hygienist. She was recently diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. In agreement with her medical doctor, she has committed to diet and lifestyle changes to control her diabetes before the consideration of medication. These lifestyle changes include regular exercise and eliminating sugar. When this hygienist presented in my chair, her chief complaint was “When it comes to my diabetes, I know what to do, I just need to do it! As...
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Diabetes Screening in Dental Offices: Part 2

Diabetes is completely out of control in this country. The CDC estimates that one in three adults in the U.S. will be diabetic by 2050. Today, there are 79 million pre-diabetics in the U.S.; which is three times greater than the number of presently diagnosed diabetics. This is a diabetic avalanche; we can’t see the snow roaring down the mountainside, but it is coming.   The dental profession needs to be better prepared to assist, as the medical profession is clearly overwhelmed. N...
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Diabetes Screening in Dental Offices: Part 1

In 2014, the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry ruled that dentists in New Jersey could screen at-risk patients for diabetes, and although such in-office screening is within the scope of licensure in the state, this testing is not to be presumed to be the standard of care. This can be interpreted to mean that the screening needs to be followed by referral to a physician for definitive diagnosis. The glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) screening can be performed as a finger stick and analyzed in the den...
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