“One of the greatest untapped referral sources by the vast
majority of dental practices is the medical community”
–DeWitt Wilkerson, DMD, Past President of American Academy for Oral Systemic Health
As we all know, the mouth is the gateway to the body. Conditions of the mouth, including gum disease, have been linked with other medical conditions such as oral cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and more.
The new dental-medical concept seeks to treat the whole person, not just specialized treatment related to the mouth or part of the body. Creating connections and increasing the collaboration between dental and medical professionals to help ensure better oral systemic health outcomes for patients is essential.
Dentistry is the gatekeeper of systemic inflammation because the health of the mouth isn’t just about teeth and gums. Bacteria in the mouth can go beyond the mouth and into the arterial system, causing such problems as inflammation and plaque buildup in the arteries, which endangers other systems in the body, such as the heart.
Patients play an essential part in the dental-medical collaboration too. Patients need to understand that inflamed aging – accelerated aging due to inflammation – is killing people. It happens silently, but it can be controlled or even reversed. Limiting exposure to toxins is essential in ensuring good health.
DeWitt Wilkerson, DMD, who lectures worldwide on the subjects of restorative dentistry, dental occlusion, temporomandibular disorders, airway/dental sleep medicine, and integrative dental medicine, serves as a Senior Faculty/Lecturer and Director of Dental Medicine with the Dawson Academy, and Past President of American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), recently sat down for an interview on this subject:
Why is it important to integrate a whole-body approach to dentistry?
Dr. Wilkerson: The health care system in the United States is failing us. The average M.D. spends 10 minutes every two years with their patients, addressing primarily a chief complaint and writing prescriptions. This “sick care system” is primarily controlled by insurance guidelines. We can do better than that in the greatest nation in history! We, in Dentistry, spend more time influencing our patients than any other medical specialty- and yes we are a specialty of oral medicine. We can stand on the front lines, elevating whole health for our patients, as we address oral pathogens through salivary testing and therapy, screen and collaborate with our medical colleagues regarding elevated blood sugar, airway/breathing & sleep disorders, gastric reflux, nutrition, smoking cessation, and lifestyle concerns that influence systemic inflammation. We have a golden opportunity to elevate dentistry to a place that is unparalleled by any other health professionals.
What value does this approach have to a DSO organization?
Dr. Wilkerson: Tremendous value! A DSO is a very large group practice with a shared vision and business model. That business model can differentiate itself, by creating a unique philosophy and quality of care. When the vision and mission is to facilitate both better oral health and whole health, addressing several key factors of a true national pandemic: such as oral pathogens- which can severely compromise vascular heath, elevated blood sugar/diabetes- which can destroy systemic health, breathing & sleep disturbances- which can drive chronic systemic stress and inflammation, gastric reflux- which can lead to esophageal cancer… the word will spread, and the reputation of the DSO will be exceptional. What if the mantra of a DSO was, “On a great day we save a smile, on an amazing day we save a life!” Dental Service Organization just took on a whole new meaning!
Can you be profitable when integrating a total health model into a DSO?
Dr. Wilkerson: Absolutely! In my recent book entitled, The Shift, the Dramatic Movement Toward Health Centered Dentistry, we discuss Integrative Dental Medicine as having 3 key pillars, each of which can become a very profitable practice business focus. The 3 pillars are: 1. Inflammation/Infection 2. Breathing & Sleep Disorders 3. TMD & Malocclusion. Each pillar can literally become a specialty focus, representing hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual revenue in each practice, through diagnosis, services and products.
Are Medical and Dental care together proving to be valuable to the patient and a DSO?
Dr. Wilkerson: Yes! We haven’t discussed the practice building benefits of working in collaboration with other medical specialists. One of the greatest untapped referral sources by the vast majority of dental practices is the medical community. Implementing an Integrative Dental Medicine approach will include communication and referrals to the cardiologist, ENT, allergy specialist, gastroenterologist, family physician, integrative physician, nutritionist, rheumatologist, endocrinologist, oral myofunctional therapist, sleep physician, chiropractor, physical therapist, personal trainer, etc. In turn, all of these specialists will enthusiastically refer to the only Dentist in town they know, who addresses the whole person in their practice. Who wins? Everyone!
There are natural ways to address and prevent inflammation, and other health-related issues, through advanced solutions. And now there are innovative products available for your DSO which not only deliver results, but also promote a lifetime of good health and well-being.
Years of researching, experimenting and collaborating with leading chemists, dental specialists, physicians, and pharmacists led us to the creation of StellaLife®. With the introduction of patent pending VEGA® Oral Care, their vision is better healing in a more natural way through clinically-proven solutions. Innovative products by StellaLife come from nature and promote a lifetime of good health.
StellaLife® VEGA® Oral Rinse is a natural, antimicrobial product that has been formulated to hydrate oral cavity, promote healthy gums, maintain oral health and freshen breath. The patent-pending rinse supports healthy healing following oral surgery and periodontal treatment. It is recommended as part of daily oral hygiene due to antimicrobial properties used to kill bacteria that cause tooth decay and periodontal disease. It can be used as an antimicrobial, human coronavirus-killing rinse.
DRY MOUTH: Offers relief. Hydrates and moisturizes.*
GREAT FOR DAILY USE: Promotes oral health and healthy gums/teeth.*
MICROBIOTIC THERAPY: Reduces bacteria that cause tooth decay & periodontal disease. Recommended by THE DENTAL ADVISOR.*
PROMOTES HEALING: Combined use of the VEGA Oral Care Gel and Rinse offers many additional benefits.*
NATURAL: non-staining, organic ingredients, sugar-free, non-toxic.*
StellaLife® VEGA® Oral Care Recovery Kit a breakthrough natural solution formulated as adjunctive therapy for pre and postsurgical treatment and can significantly reduce the need for opioids. It consists of the antimicrobial rinse, sublingual (pain-relief) spray, and award-winning topical gel.*
StellaLife® is a biotech company on a mission to improve people’s lives by accelerating healing, relieving pain and significantly reducing the need for opioids. Their products are manufactured in the United States. StellaLife products helped over 100,000 patients at over 5,000 dental practices nationwide.
Schedule a live learning to get the free trial product!
To learn more and get connected to a StellaLife Strategic Accounts Manager,
email [email protected] or call (800)828-7265
Hear more from Dr. Wilkerson on the ‘Ask Why Medicine’
podcast: Why do I need an oral systemic collaboration team?
Debbie Durako, Director of StellaLife, and Dr. Jeffrey Burch, periodontist and owner of Burch Dental Partners, a dental group with multiple locations, discuss the use cases for StellaLife. Elevate your practice(s) from good to great — listen to this podcast!
StellaLife® conducts high-quality research on all of their products:
- UT Health San Antonio and University of Athens Study: Cytocompatibility Properties of an Herbal Compound Solution Support In vitro Wound Healing by Peng Zhou1, Vanessa Chrepa2, Ioannis Karoussis3, Michael A. Pikos4 and Georgios A. Kotsakis
ORIGINAL RESEARCH published: 26 March 2021 doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.653661 by Frontiers in Physiology (link to study)
- Gordon Dr. Christensen’s Clinicians Report: StellaLife Products Rated Highly by Evaluators in CR Clinical Trials: Homeopathic Oral Sore Relief Gel Reduces Pain and Swelling, and Promotes Healing: • Reduces pain from oral lesions and dry sockets; reduces swelling and inflammation; promotes healing. • CR CONCLUSIONS: 71% of 31 CR Evaluators stated they would incorporate StellaLife VEGA Oral Care Gel into their practice. 90% rated it excellent or good and worthy of trial by colleagues.” – – download full report.
- Bern University Study (Switzerland): Cytotoxicity and Gene Expression Changes of a Novel Homeopathic Antiseptic Oral Rinse in Comparison to Chlorhexidine in Gingival Fibroblasts by Masako Fujioka-Kobayashi 1,Benoit Schaller 1,Michael A. Pikos 2,Anton Sculean 3OrcID and Richard J. Miron 3,*OrcID
Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
• Private Practice, Pikos Institute, Trinity, FL 34655, USA
• Department of Periodontology, University of Bern, 3010 Bern, Switzerland (full reportand video)
- The Efficacy of Preemptive Analgesia:Using a Non-Opioid Alternative Therapy Regimen on Postoperative Analgesia Following Block Bone Graft Surgery of the Mandible: A Prospective Pilot Study in Pain Management in Response to the Opioid Epidemic by Dr. Cameron Lee, Dr. Jon Suzuki (published by Clinical Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics – Medtext Publications, 2019 | Volume 1 | Article 1006 – – full article)
- Opioid Prescribing can be reduced in Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery practice by Dr. Tatch (published by JOMS, September 2019, Volume 77, Issue 9, Pages 1771–1775- – full article )
- Awarded 2021, 2020, 2019 Top Oral Healing Product, three years in a row, by Dental Advisor (full report)
* Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated. Individual results may vary. This material is for general information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Read the labels before using. StellaLife products are FDA registered and follow HPUS & GMP guidelines. VEGA® and Intelligent Healing® are trademarks of StellaLife®, Inc. All rights reserved. Made in USA.
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