The Grinch down in WHOville has decided that dentistry is not something we should be doing.
According to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) statement: “Urgent or emergency oral health interventions that are vital for preserving a person’s oral functioning, managing severe pain, or securing quality of life should be provided.”
But what about the patient who presented for a routine dental visit with a blood pressure of 215/110? Or the patient with a potentially life-threatening abscess under her neck?
So, what WHO is telling me is that the two patients I saw two weeks ago via routine care don’t fall into the category of “... oral health interventions that are vital for preserving a person’s oral functioning, managing severe pain, or securing quality of life.”
A lack of pain doesn’t mean anything is wrong, right? Wrong! Dentistry is necessary, and routine dental assessments can absolutely impact a patient’s quality of life.
What have you been experiencing in your practice?
Stacey L. Gividen, DDS, a graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry, is in private practice in Hamilton, Montana. She is a guest lecturer at the University of Montana in the Anatomy and Physiology Department. Dr. Gividen is the editorial co-director of Through the Loupes and a contributing author for DentistryIQ, Perio-Implant Advisory, and Dental Economics. She serves on the Dental Economics editorial advisory board. You may contact her at [email protected].