Do well by doing good

Nov. 2, 2012
Dental hygienists are uniquely positioned to improve the health of America and can serve as the point person to help champion a third era of oral-systemic practice mindset that can benefit patients, a practice, and society.

Dental hygienists are uniquely positioned to improve the health of America. Physicians need your help! Here's a program that's been proven to improve the financial health of your practice.

Periodontal infection, with or without inflammation, is associated with many systemic diseases including heart attack, stroke, stillbirth, preterm labor, high blood pressure, and more. Unfortunately, it is difficult for dental practices to eradicate these infections if insulin resistance is present.

Insulin resistance raises blood sugar and, eventually, causes diabetes. Evidence suggests that, unless glucose metabolism is normalized, one can administer an expert therapy but not eliminate infection and inflammation.

Obesity and pre-obesity are the main causes of most insulin resistance. In fact, they are the mother and father of many preventable systemic diseases. The obesity epidemic is the reason the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) predicts that our children's generation will have a shorter life expectancy than our own!

Curing obesity can cure insulin resistance and prevent diabetes. Doing so also leads to greater success with eradicating periodontal infection and inflammation.

The medical community remains ineffective at treating insulin resistance because most physicians lack the time and ability to effectively treat obesity. 79% of primary care physicians have never been trained to counsel a patient about obesity. We simply tell them to eat less and move more.

We react to diseases by prescribing medication for high blood pressure, hypertension, and diabetes. Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, many have already lost up to 50% of their insulin producing beta cells.

The Third Era of Medicine
The first era of medicine ended when we effectively controlled infectious diseases with antibiotics, immunizations, and improved public health.

Most in the medical profession remain trapped in the second era of medicine, where the focus is on reacting to diseases after they have already begun. This approach in the presence of the disease-causing obesity epidemic is bankrupting our country.

We need to move into the third era of medicine where the focus is on creating health, not just reacting to poor health. Curing obesity and teaching our patients the habits of health to maintain a healthy weight, leads to a happy, productive, and appreciative patient, and one who is inexpensive to the system.

Create a Third Era Dental Practice
We are all health professionals. Accordingly, we ought to treat the whole person, not just a designated body part! A passionate dental hygienist is positioned perfectly to be the point person to champion this third era oral-systemic practice mindset, to the benefit of your patients, your practice, and society.

More good news is that an effective oral-systemic practice need not be a financial loss leader. In fact, it can create a healthy revenue stream for all involved by offering a professional coaching service to those of your patients, as well as prospective patients, who want to create health in their lives.

In November 2011 the New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing that if a person had a learning tool for healthy lifestyles and a health coach to work with them, they were significantly more likely to maintain long-term weight loss than those provided with only the learning tool. Yet, even with the benefit of a coach, those patients with class II obesity were only able to lose an average of 10 pounds after two years.

Dr. Wayne Andersen intuitively understood this information 12 years ago when he left a lucrative job at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. He created an effective coaching, and best in class learning system he calls The Habits of Health. He knew studies showed that people who use a portion controlled meal replacement (PCMR) program were very successful at losing weight. However, 85% of these people regained the weight they lost because they returned to the habits of disease that led to their original weight gain.

Dr. Andersen added Medifast, the only PCMR with safety studies, to his coaching and learning programs, and created a comprehensive optimal health program. Individuals and practices can easily implement it at virtually no cost. Health professionals can coach as little or much as they want.

Imagine the reaction of a physician when he or she discovers that their patient has successfully created health thanks to the assistance of their dental practice and team! It serves as a powerful force driving collaboration among the dental and medical professions that can only result in further improved patient outcomes!

Your patients and our country need your help. Join this grassroots effort to carry America into the third era of medicine!

To learn more about the third era of healthcare click here.