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
South Carolina Academy of General Dentistry 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 Dental Awareness Day on Friday, May 3, 2002, consumers will have a chance to get dental advice from members of the South Carolina Academy of General Dentistry. Anyone with questions or concerns about oral health can call the SmileLine, toll-free, at 1-800-SMILE-33 (1-800-764-5333) from 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m. EDT.
Advice given during the SmileLine, which is celebrating its 11th national anniversary this year, 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 Frankie Shull, Jr., DMD, 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
"By seeking dental care on a more preventive and pro-active basis, patients will aid their overall health," says Dr. Shull.
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.
The Academy's SmileLine Online section at www.agd.org enables consumers to post dental health questions online and have them answered by an Academy member dentist. Consumers can get names, addresses and phone numbers of up to
three general dentists, by calling 1-877-2X-A-YEAR (1-877-292-9327) or by visiting the Academy's Web site.