Dr. Cesar Sabates, a Florida dentist and chair of the ADA Council of Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations (CAPIR), made a discovery about a patient that led to the creation of an online program called “Diabetes Mellitus and the Dental Professional.”
The course, developed by CAPIR, is designed to help dentists understand and identify the signs, symptoms, risk factors and systematic complications of diabetes.
The creation of the course came about after Sabates had a patient who was slow to heal after a routine extraction. Wanting to find out more, Sabates asked the patient questions that led the dentist to believe he was diabetic. He was referred for testing and it turned out the patient was diabetic and grateful for the referral.
Approximately 9.3 percent of Americans, or 29.1 million people, live with diabetes. It is more than likely that dentists are treating patients with the disease on a regular basis.
According to Sabates, many patients may be visiting their dentists more frequently than they do their primary health providers and it is the dentists who can identify early signs and symptoms of diabetes.