Preventive Medicine – a Wellness Program in the Oral Healthcare Setting

Hypertension is an important public health problem. If the rise in BP with age could be prevented or diminished, much of HTN, cardiovascular and renal disease, and stroke might be prevented. To prevent BP levels from rising, primary preventive measures should be implemented to reduce or minimize casual factors in the population, particularly in individuals with prehypertension. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC-7) specifically identifies dentists as healthcare professionals who must be committed to enhancing BP control through (1) reinforcing the message about the risks of HTN, (2) educating patients about lifestyle interventions, and (3) promoting adherence to treatment to achieve goal BP.12

Therefore, OHCP must possess knowledge and skills essential to determine the patient’s physical and emotional ability to undergo and respond to dental care and understand the reciprocal influences of oral and systemic disease. Data collection is the indispensable first step in initiating the clinical process. Interpreting and correlating the database, in the light of principles gained from both medical and dental sciences, will lead to the establishment of a problem list. A problem is anything that interferes with, or has the potential to interfere with, the clinical process and/or the patient’s quality of life, e.g., high blood pressure.