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Oral Health Managers
Being in dental practice requires not just performing procedures and administering treatments on patients, but it involves the management of our patients’ oral health. Whether treating oral infections or prescribing pain relievers, there are many facets of oral health maintenance to consider.
Our two continuing education articles this month deal with patient management. In the first CE, the authors cover diagnosis and management of acute orofacial infections, such as periodontal or peri-implant abscess or cellulitis. Managing these typically painful and often dysfunctional conditions requires an understanding of numerous factors, including anatomy, pharmacology, wound healing, and oral surgery—all of which are discussed. The article is timely in that the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs recently published a clinical practice guideline on the use of prophylactic antibiotics in patients with prosthetic joints who are undergoing dental procedures. (Sollecito TP, Abt E, Lockhart PB, et al. The use of prophylactic antibiotics prior to dental procedures in patients with prosthetic joints. J Am Dent Assoc. 2015;146(1):11-16.e8.)
In our other CE, the issue of opioid pain relievers (OPRs), often prescribed following third-molar extraction surgery, is discussed. The authors conducted an assessment of patient pain experiences and actual opioid analgesic use to gauge just how many OPR tablets are typically needed. It is an important discussion in light of concerns about abuse of these drugs. The article outlines strategies to prevent and limit pain severity and use of OPRs.
This month we also feature a case report that reviews a guided full-arch immediate-function implant treatment modality that includes placement of a prefabricated, bar-supported, monolithic polymethyl methacrylate acrylic (PMMA) prosthesis for edentulous and terminal dentition patients. Other topics covered in this issue are immediate dentoalveolar restoration, sleep apnea treatment, the use of oral irrigators, and impressioning systems/materials.
Of course, our website, compendiumlive.com, and our companion site, cdeworld.com, offer a full complement of articles and CE aimed at helping clinicians manage their patients. Be sure to visit often and make it a go-to resource for learning.
Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD