Non-clinical tips: added value service for patients

shutterstock_174106202Sarah Bradbury, head of marketing and communications at Dentists’ Provident, introduces you to four non-clinical tools to help you provide an added value service in your practice.

1. Blood monitoring to assess diabetes risk

By providing this service you could offer your patients a quick and relatively painless assessment of their sugar levels and therefore their diabetes risk.

NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommends a number of pathways, including the training required to undertake such assessments:

http://pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/preventing-type-2-diabetes/. 

For independent non-clinical blood glucose meter reviews you can look at: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/blood_glucose_monitor_guide.html.

2. Saliva testing to determine acidity levels

GC Europe produces a Saliva-Check Buffer kit that you can use to test your patient’s oral environment. You can then use the results when you are planning and discussing their preventive care programme with them. The kit has five simple steps, using unstimulated and stimulated saliva that can help you to demonstrate to patients how their lifestyles may be affecting their oral health. It will also demonstrate to them if their acid levels are dangerously high that may be contributing to erosion or caries problems. By checking the quality of their saliva, you can establish whether it is effective at neutralising acids in their mouth. http://www.gceurope.com/products/detail.php?id=120

3. Or combine both!

Researchers at UCLA are working on a saliva test that can actually diagnose diseases like diabetes and cancer. ‘The study, the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted of RNA (ribonucleic acid) molecules in human saliva, shows that saliva contains many of the same disease-revealing molecules that are contained in blood. You can read more about this in the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Chemistry in the article Molecular diagnostics: a revolution in progress.’ (Wolpert, 2014)

4. An app to encourage a good oral hygiene routine between visits

Encourage your patients, either adults or children, to brush to music by downloading the NHS approved free Brush DJ app, and their two minutes will fly by! It also has features they can use to set a reminder for their next appointment with you, as well as when they need to replace their toothbrush/brush head. http://www.brushdj.com/

References

Wolpert S (2014) ‘Treasure in saliva’ may reveal deadly diseases early enough to treat them, UCLA scientists report. UCLA Newsroom. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/treasure-in-saliva-may-reveal-deadly-diseases-early-enough-to-treat-them-ucla-scientists-report [accessed 19/01/2015]

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