Nagging molar making you irritable? Afraid of going to the dentist? In an effort to educate the public and increase consumer awareness of dental health issues, members of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) are trying to put dental dilemmas to rest by hosting the SmileLine, a national dental health hotline that consumers can call to talk one-on-one with a dentist.
During national Dental Awareness Day on Friday, July 18, 2003, consumers will have a chance to get advice from the experts attending the AGD's 51st Annual Meeting in Nashville, July 17-20, 2003. Anyone with questions or concerns about oral health can call the SmileLine, toll-free, at 1-800-SMILE-33 (1-800-764-5333) from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT.
Advice given during the SmileLine, which is celebrating its 12th national anniversary this year, has helped put more than 14,500 consumers' dental questions and fears to rest, and has strengthened and encouraged the patient's relationship with the dentist.
"Most people know that neglecting their oral health means risking cavities and gum disease," says Manuel A. Cordero, DDS, MAGD, 2003 SmileLine coordinator. "We hope this toll-free service will help answer difficult or embarrassing questions about dental and general health issues."
In recent years, researchers have found a connection between gum disease and coronary vascular disease, which can place people at risk for heart attacks and strokes. In individuals with diabetes, gum disease is associated with poor control of insulin levels. Pregnant women also need to be careful; gum disease can place pregnant women at risk for having low-birthweight babies.
"By seeking dental care on a more preventive and pro-active basis, patients will aid their overall health," says Dr. Cordero.
Co-sponsored by Kodak Dental Products, Bisco Dental, Colgate, and Zila Pharmaceuticals, the SmileLine, dentistry's first national hotline, continues to raise consumer awareness about oral health, new dental technology and the options available to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.