Nagging molar making you irritable? Afraid of going to the dentist? To help educate the public and increase consumer awareness of dental health issues, members of the Virginia Academy of General Dentistry are trying to put dental dilemmas to rest by hosting the SmileLine, a national dental hotline that consumers can call to talk one-on-one with a dentist.
During Dental Awareness Day on Friday, Nov. 1, consumers can get free dental advice from members of the Virginia Academy of General Dentistry. Anyone with questions or concerns about oral health can call the SmileLine, toll-free, at (800) SMILE-33 (800-764-5333) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET.
Advice given during the SmileLine, which is celebrating its 11th national anniversary, has helped put more than 13,000 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 Daniel Grabeel, DDS, FAGD, 2002 SmileLine coordinator. "We hope that 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. Grabeel.
The SmileLine, dentistry's first toll-free hotline, continues to raise awareness about oral health, new dental technology and options for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile.
The Academy's SmileLine Online section at www.agd.org allows consumers to post dental questions online and have them answered by an Academy member. Consumers can get contact information for up to three general dentists and a free oral health brochure by calling (877) 2X-A-YEAR (877-292-9327).