Each year, almost 20 million Americans see a dentist without paying a visit to their regular doctor. For this reason, it is more important than ever for Dental Assistants and other dental professionals to be vigilant and on the lookout for signs of severe health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
According to the National Health Interview Survey taken by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2008, about 26% of children did not see a general healthcare provider during the year, yet more than one third of this group did visit the dentist. This number is similar for adults – one quarter of those surveyed did not see a general healthcare provider, while a quarter of that group did visit the dentist at least once.
There is a strong link between oral health and general health, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and this strong correlation is one of the many factors that will continue to stoke the demand for Dental Assistants and others involved in preventive dental care.