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On columbia.edu today

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by SillyRabbit, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. SillyRabbit

    SillyRabbit Trix R 4 Kidz
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    Please don't respond if you have nothing positive to say about the good work a school is doing (I'm sure all schools out there serve the community in various ways...this is just one example).


    Dental School Offers Free Oral Cancer Screenings to the Public, April 15



    Each year in the United States, approximately 30,000 people are newly diagnosed with oral cancer. Columbia University's School of Dental and Oral Surgery will offer free oral cancer screenings on Thursday, April 15, to the public in Washington Heights and Harlem . Carla Pulse, assistant professor of clinical dentistry and an oral pathologist, is organizing the event.

    "Many people are at risk for developing oral cancer," Pulse said. "Early detection is extremely important. We hope that by offering free screenings, we can broaden our reach and make sure people with the greatest risk receive the appropriate care."

    The screenings will take place at two sites: SDOS Mobile Dental Unit, corner of 125th St. & St. Nicholas Ave.; SDOS Dental Clinic, Vanderbilt Clinic, 622 W. 168th St., 8th Fl., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

    For more information, contact Annie Bayne at 212-305-3900 or [email protected], or call 212-305-4599.
     
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  3. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Along with preventative measures, early detection is a good key to curbing oral cancer.

    Good post--and as you've said, you can find similar posts from each dental school in the country.

    It's nice to be part of a pro-active profession.
     
  4. Dr.BadVibes

    Dr.BadVibes Membership Revoked
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    During my interview at Columbia, I asked them about all their outreach programs because I wanted to get involved, and this was mentioned. Sounds like a great program......we had a great conversation on what Gavin was saying about early detection being very important and how more emphasis is being put on this.......the long term is the key........its good and all to go to these places....extract teeth and then go home......but its better to take on preventative/early detection measures as well to avoid it in the long term and to also save a lot of government money!

    Community education is key, and hopefully I get to study it more. Kudos to Columbia.....keep it up!
     
  5. freedyx3

    freedyx3 I'm Columbian
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    HAHAHAHAHAHA :laugh: Ooooh Avin, you made me laugh so much.
     
  6. Dr.BadVibes

    Dr.BadVibes Membership Revoked
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    huh? why?
     
  7. Mo007

    Mo007 Gifted Hands
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    To the OP:

    Most schools do that kind of screening, I know Harvard and Tufts do the same in Boston.
     
  8. SillyRabbit

    SillyRabbit Trix R 4 Kidz
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    School of Dental and Oral Surgery Issues 'Call to Action' for Elderly Oral Health



    America's seniors suffer a disproportionate burden of oral disease while having fewer resources for appropriate care -- and these issues will be exacerbated as the elderly population grows. Now, the dean of Columbia's dental school has issued a "call to action" on geriatric oral health and has outlined initiatives that he hopes other institutions will emulate in order to prevent a health crisis among the nation's aged.

    Writing in the May issue of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), Ira B. Lamster, D.D.S., M.M.Sc., dean of Columbia University Medical Center's School of Dental and Oral Surgery, outlines ways to address this hidden health problem. His proposal covers dental education, provision of new dental services, changes in public policy, and prevention initiatives.

    "The needs of the nation's seniors do not mesh with the availability of services," Lamster says. "While America's elderly population continues to grow, its dental needs have received little attention and almost no public health or public policy interventions."

    The senior population is expected to increase rapidly -- to more than 350 million by 2030, when 20 percent of Americans will be 65 or older. "This is why we must take action now," Lamster says.

    While a greater percentage of seniors retain their teeth than ever before, they still have significant oral health problems, which can reduce their quality of life and threaten their well-being. Multiple medications can reduce salivary flow and damage their teeth and gums, and years of exposure to oral bacteria and "wear and tear" lead to numerous oral problems.

    "There is also strong evidence that poor oral health is a risk factor for potentially life-threatening systemic health problems," Lamster says. "Either the bacteria from gum infections or the body's response to the bacteria which occurs in the bloodstream can increase the development of the fatty plaques that cause heart attacks and strokes. Seniors in long-term care are especially at risk of fever and death from pneumonia, which results from the aspiration of these bacteria." Improved oral health has also been shown to help in the control of diabetes, and smoking and alcohol abuse cessation lessen the risk of developing mouth and throat cancer.

    Lamster sees the issue as being especially critical for seniors in long-term care facilities, or nursing homes, as well as the homebound. "Access to dentists is just one of the many difficulties they encounter," he says. "Medicare does not provide coverage for routine dental services and a large percentage of nursing home residents are unable to pay for any dental care. Many are unable to care for themselves and nursing home staff are not trained to deal with their oral health needs. Clearly, there must be a response to the increasing oral health concerns of these seniors."

    Columbia already has a number of programs in place to address these needs, and has plans for more. "We believe programs like our mobile dental clinic, which visits senior centers throughout Northern Manhattan , our five community-based practices and our Thelma C. Davidson Adair Center, which provides not just dental but medical care to seniors in Harlem , provide models that others might follow," says Lamster. "We continue to work toward expanding our dental services for seniors, with new geriatric clinics in development at Fort Washington Houses for the Elderly (the former Delafield Hospital at 165 th and Fort Washington) and the Isabella Geriatric Center (180 th and Audubon)." Lamster adds that he also plans new curriculum, research and policy initiatives that target geriatric oral health.

    Lamster proposes a wide-ranging, coordinated national effort at all levels to address these problems, led by dental schools and involving groups such as the American Dental Association and American Dental Education Association; federal, state and local health authorities; and national organizations and foundations. Key to his proposal is a way to address the shortage of dental practitioners who are formally trained to meet the needs of elderly patients. Geriatric dentistry is not a recognized dental specialty, and there is no obvious source of support for training a new group of "gerodontologists." Geriatric dentistry should receive increased emphasis by the nation's dental schools, specifically in pre-doctoral dental curricula. Professional organization- and association-based responses to the challenge of providing oral health care services to the elderly need to be developed. In addition, he proposes:

    • A national program for older Americans similar to the American Dental Association-sponsored "Give Kids a Smile," a program to provide free dental services to the nation's low-income children.

    • On-site and off-site care activities for older populations at U.S. dental schools, which often focus their service programs on those who have difficulty accessing care.

    • Effective and relatively inexpensive preventive procedures and protocols for the elderly who have problems accessing care, including application of topical fluoride varnishes and anti-infective (chlorhexidine) rinses or swabs.

    • Collaboration with other health care providers who routinely treat the elderly, with a focus on increasing their awareness of potential oral health problems.

    Related Links

    School of Dental and Oral Surgery

    Published: Apr 30, 2004
    Last modified: Apr 29, 2004
     
  9. HuyetKiem

    HuyetKiem Senior Member
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    About early detection of oral cancer.....

    Case study shows dental hygienists can be essential to early detection of oral cancer. Many hygienists view screening for oral cancer as important but few actually do it

    In one of the first national surveys of dental hygienists about their knowledge and screening practices for oral cancers, researchers at Case Western Reserve University's School of Dental Medicine found indications that while dental hygienists view screening for oral cancer an important component of their practice and possess comparable oral cancer knowledge with the general dentist in the private practice, they often do not carry out oral cancer screenings.

    According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 28,900 people were diagnosed in 2002 with oral cancers and 7,400 people would died as result of their disease. The overall five-year survival rate was 56 percent

    Oral cancer is often asymptomatic and if not caught during its earlier stages, the chances of surviving the disease diminish significantly, according to Danny R. Sawyer, professor and chairman of Case' department of oral diagnosis and radiology and assistant dean of didactic education. He conducted the study along with Marsha Pyle, Case associate dean for dental curriculum; Meredith Bailey, a second-year Case dental student; and Maureen Vendemia, professor of dental hygiene from Youngstown State University.

    The 25-question survey from Case was mailed to 2,000 randomly selected dental hygienists nationwide, with 575 individuals responding to questions about their oral cancer knowledge and oral cancer screening practices. The survey findings were presented at the 2004 annual research meeting of the American Dental Education Association and were compared to an oral cancer survey of dentists presented by the authors at the 2003 ADEA's annual meeting.

    Some of the findings from the dental hygienist survey were:

    Most dental hygienists place a high level of importance on oral cancer screening, are trained to screen for the cancers and are non-smokers themselves. However, only 53 percent do head and neck examinations on their patients.
    The majority of the hygienists who do elect to do exams on patients do so because of the patients' age and/or tobacco and alcohol use.
    Most hygienists ask their patients about using tobacco products, but less than half ask about alcohol drinking habits. And less than half counsel patients about alcohol and tobacco use.
    Of hygienists working in an office with a single dentist, 79 percent said they do not have tobacco cessation materials available to give to patients, yet a similar percentage felt it was important to have this information available. Dental hygienists that smoke were less likely to offer tobacco cessation materials than those who do not smoke.
    When compared to the 2003 dentist survey, dental hygienists' cancer knowledge that related to the cause, appearance of and risk factors related to oral cancer was comparable to that of the general dentist.
    The Case surveys of dental hygienists and dentists coincide with American Dental Association efforts to raise awareness of oral cancer and increase cancer screenings by professionals in the dental field. Also the importance of the research findings will help Case rewrite the Case School of Dental Medicine's dental curriculum, which is currently under revision as the dental school strives to train the dentist for the 21st century.

    The research group encourages people to be proactive in their oral health care by suggesting that if an oral cancer screening examination is not done with our routine dental care, then ask your dentist or dental hygienist to do one.

    "After all, early diagnosis offers the best chance for cure," Sawyer said
     

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