Dental academic software opens the door for research

January 24th, 2014

Dental school software can have great benefits for researchers in university-run clinics. These services can help operations in these facilities run more smoothly by combining student tracking with patient management systems. However, dental enterprise software also helps support research by enabling greater communications with external organizations and efficiently maintaining patient data.

The Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Wisconsin received a grant from DentaQuest Foundation to improve the oral health of diabetic patients. Diabetic patients often experience oral health problems, such as increased risk for gum disease or minor discomfort like dryness in the mouth, which can lead to soreness, ulcers and even tooth decay, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

The $186,000 grant will enable the organization to help diabetics manage oral care. The funding will be spent on research, education and integration of medical records with dental records. With the project, researchers hope to better inform patients of the relationship between diabetes and dental care.

Diabetes is controlled more effectively when patients get plaque removed from teeth and reduce swelling of the gums, said Terri Kleutsch, dental administrator for the Family Health Center of Marshfield, in an interview with Marshfield News Herald, a local news source. Better oral health is often connected to improvement in skin ulcers and foot problems.  

The Wisconsin Diabetes Association recommended that individuals with diabetes visit the dentist every six months. However, getting patients into the office to work on their oral health can often be challenging.

Early identification
Combining dental and medical records can help these professionals identify diabetic patients earlier. Those at high risk will have a blood sugar screening at the dentist.

With greater dental informatics and information technology, university dental clinics can begin investing in systems that will automatically profile patients for potential health risks, according to Dental Informatics organization. Implementing dental school software is the first step in transitioning to digital initiatives in the oral health industry.

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