West Virginia AGD chapter sets Dental Awareness Weekend

March 5, 2003
Dates are Friday, March 7, and Saturday, March 8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET

Nagging molar making you irritable? Afraid of visiting the dentist? To help educate the public on dental health issues, members of the West Virginia Academy of General Dentistry are hosting the SmileLine, a toll-free dental health hotline that consumers can call to talk one-on-one with a dentist.

During Dental Awareness Weekend on Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8, consumers can get dental advice from members of the West Virginia 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. ET.

Advice given during the SmileLine, celebrating its 12th anniversary this year, has helped put more than 14,500 consumers' dental questions and fears to rest, and has strengthened and encouraged patients' relationship with the dentist.

"Most people know that neglecting their oral health means risking cavities and gum disease," says Bruce Cassis, DDS, FAGD, 2003 SmileLine coordinator. "We hope that this toll-free service helps answer difficult or embarrassing questions about dental health issues."

New research shows links between one's oral and overall health including gum disease as a warning sign to 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 aid their oral and overall health," says Dr. Cassis.

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 enables consumers to post dental 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 and a free oral health brochure by calling 1-877-2X-A-YEAR (1-877-292-9327).