In Healthy Hints and Hacks

Dr Ernest Yeo

What services does a dentist provide?Diabetes WA recognises dentists play a huge role in supporting diabetes care.

A dentist will provide a comprehensive examination, diagnosis and treatment of the health of your teeth and mouth. They can also conduct x-rays, oral photos, laser and 3D scans to record the health of the existing oral environment and to teach you about your existing dental health and current and future risks. They can provide education on oral hygiene practices and dental related dietary advice.

How do you help people with diabetes?

Dentists can often be the first health professional to detect that you may have diabetes by identifying signs in your oral health. Good oral health helps improve management of diabetes and can reduce the risk of other complications including heart disease and stroke. Dentists can assist with treatment and maintenance of gum/periodontal health, including scaling, cleaning and root-planning. They can also advise on managing side effects of medications such as dry mouth and bad breath.

Why are you an important part of Team Diabetes?

Visiting your dentist regularly allows us to manage oral disease and help to avoid more major complications from developing, by working in combination with other health professionals. We take a holistic health approach from head to toe and provide education, advice and support.

Do you have a story or anecdote from client/s that you could share about how dental health has impacted their life?

Being personally and holistically cared for by an entire dental team is especially valuable for clients with possible medical issues that can complicate treatment and care. We had a long-term client with type 1 diabetes that had finished a long crown procedure. Towards the end of her visit, she started to be very emotional, confused and disoriented. All the staff recognised this was out of character and that she was having a hypoglycaemic episode. We took her to a private room, sat and talked to her calmly, gave her some glucose tablets and called her husband to collect her. She insisted on leaving, but our team stopped her from driving. She returned a few days later with a lovely card and gift of thanks from her husband. We pride ourselves at Photogenic Dental on our personalised old-fashioned service and this was a very proud moment for our practice to truly holistically care for one of our clients. It showed us how valuable our service is to clients with medical issues such as diabetes, both for their oral health and their overall health and safety.

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