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Revised book aids dentists treating patients with medical conditions

November 30, 2015

By David Burger

Dentists who are uneasy about treating patients with complex medical conditions can have an updated and helpful manual at their fingertips.

The Association released in November the second, revised edition of "The ADA Practical Guide to Patients with Medical Conditions."

Written by more than 25 expert clinicians and academics and edited by Drs. Lauren L. Patton and Michael Glick, the book helps dental professionals deliver safe, coordinated oral health care for medically complex patients, said Dr. Glick, Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and editor of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

"Dentists are very concerned and feel unease about not knowing enough," Dr. Glick said.

Dr. Patton, professor and department chair at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry agreed. "Our outpatient hospital dental clinic at the University of North Carolina, where I serve as general practice residency program director, continues to receive referrals from dentists across our state who are a bit wary of treating patients with complex medical conditions and histories," she said. "It is my hope that with more knowledge and experience, fewer dentists will feel it necessary to refer their patients with medical conditions to specialists or hospital clinic settings. Retention of a dentist's more medically complex patients in the general dental practice typically increases their access to care and enhances their satisfaction. Having this information on safe dental practices for medically complex patients gives the wary dentist added courage and comfort in their treatment and patient management plan and enhances the dentist's ability to discuss their individual patient's dental care with the patient's personal physician."

The revision of the book was necessary due to new medications and therapies, along with a growing population of older patients dealing with numerous maladies, the editors said.

Key features include:

  • Coverage of clinical topics including cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, endocrine disorders, bleeding disorders, neurologic disorders, neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders, geriatric health and functional issues, human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS and related conditions.
  • Identification of risks related to hemostasis, susceptibility to infection, drug interactions and ability to tolerate dental care.
  • More than 75 summary tables of vital information.
  • Quick reference points and guides to key dental care issues in each chapter.
  • A new chapter on medical screening assessments and biomedical screening tests in a dental setting.
  • Six-month access to the ICE Medical Support System website, offering relevant, point-of-care information to provide quality care to medically compromised patients.
Dr. Patton praised working with Dr. Glick on the book. "Throughout our academic careers, we have a shared a curiosity and passion for advancing the science and knowledge base of managing patients with HIV/AIDS and other medical conditions," said Dr. Patton of Dr. Glick. "He has always been a true visionary with an extraordinary scientific knowledge base and ability to integrate concepts in medicine to advance oral health. During every project working with him, I learn new things and am challenged to think outside of the box. What more could one ask for from a co-editor and colleague?"

The book (item P031) is $59.95 for Association members and $89.95 for nonmembers. Use promo code 15127 by Jan. 29 to receive a 15 percent discount on the book and all ADA Catalog products.

To order, call 1-800-947-4746 or visit