Delta Dental NJ’s Keith Libou Shares Changes in Dental Care

We are pleased to be joined by dr. Keith LeBeau who is chief clinical officer Delta Dental New Jersey good to see you thanks Dave great to be here let's talk a little bit about we talked to some of your colleagues people say I'm going to the dentist and i'm going to get my teeth checked i'm going to take something take care of some of my teeth.

But oral health is so much more than that if you told our producers hey wait a minute we have to look at your full medical history this is about something bigger than just your teeth absolutely it used to be a situation where someone to go to the dentist and the dentist would still take a full medical history but the primary reason was really to be.

Able to provide dental care safely if you think about it's one of the few few medical areas where virtually every visit is an invasive procedure because something is happening does that an opportunity to introduce bacteria into the body and we use on aesthetics and so we want to make sure people can be treated safely now what that's evolving.

To is really a situation where dentists are really becoming a primary care provider really for patients absolutely a primary care provider give us an example well for example you know a lot of patients there are millions of patients that see their dentists annually whether it's a routine care and emergency who do not see a physician.

Regularly so patient goes in to see the food you know see their dentist they haven't seen a physician right and the dentist has an opportunity they r I collect to call it not bat but they have an opportunity to do a number of things they could take the patient's blood pressure they could evaluate the patient's family history for diabetes.

Into a risk assessment they could evaluate whether or not their risk for sleep apnea and and something that's really really exciting back in early 2015 the state of New Jersey Dental Board was very progressive and they actually do you know stated that it's within the scope of dental practice for dentists to actually do in off.

Blood testing for diabetes for diabetes for diabetes entus will do that the dentist can do and do that have our a significant number of them doctor doing that no should they be well it's definitely an opportunity to do it for patients that have risk factors for diabetes as a matter of fact the full medical history matters absolutely and.

And sometimes it's not in the medical history you know for the most part it's going to be people that don't have an indication that they have diabetes but when you look there there how they appear physically their family history right sometimes patients have a certain pattern of periodontal disease uncontrolled periodontal disease where.

You look at them and even that could be very suspicious of somebody having diabetes because there is this relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease you know as I listen to you doctor is so clear to me and I have this particular relationship with our with my dentist he does they do play a bigger and bigger role in our overall.

Health care is it changing the way dentists are being trained and their role in society definitely that there is a very much more of a medical orientation to to the way dentists of being trained both while they're in dental school if they're doing residences in hospitals afterwards but they are you know they're coming out.

There they're diagnosticians you know they they they're very well skilled and understanding how systemic issues present orally and and the risks you know the risks of us or normal conditions systemic conditions in terms of being able to provide safe dental care let's talk about this and by the way the delta dental of New Jersey.

Foundation it's been incredibly supportive a whole range of public awareness efforts and public television's of the caucus educational corporation has been doing public awareness of oral health through some of that support but I also want to be clear that the really terrific organization is the.

Zoo fall Health Organization has recently received a grant from the foundation for is it a mobile health van is it it it's actually a fully equipped to chair mobile dental unit and does it do it actually can provide comprehensive dental care for for Zufall patients who don't have access to transportation to get to one of their physical sites so.

They could reach out and extend they extend the reach and the scope of care they could provide to people who otherwise wouldn't have access to dental care so you're going to them sorry for troubling you go to them as a as opposed to saying okay you should be going to a dentist to get this done you have to find them exactly exactly and is that.

Particularly in urban areas let's talk about the urban areas I know there's a Rutgers connection as well I I know one of the primary uses for the mobile unit is actually going to be going at more to this the rural more to the rural areas whether there are transportation issues sure you know there is actually Sioux Falls has a number of urban-based.

Locations so i think i think the mobile unit specifically is probably more focused towards people that are in the more outlying areas where they don't have access to transportation should you have helped in urban areas as well the ACA the Affordable Care Act and Dentistry be more specific how has it helped children with respect to their.

Oral health that's interesting when we look at the people who enrolled in ACA related dental coverage in the state there was a significant enrollment the surprising thing we saw out of all the people enrolled in the exchange or off-exchange related programs only about ten percent of them were children about ninety percent of them were adults but.

It still does provide access to kids for for comprehensive dental care coverage who otherwise wouldn't have had it so so it's really tremendous that way so it's helped them that way definitely dr. Keith libo mom who is chief clinical officer delta dental of New Jersey it's so interesting people say i'm going to my dentist to take care of something my.

Teeth or my gums you made an important point and you're making it clear that this is overall health and dentists are playing a more important role than ever before in our health overall thank you doctor for teaching us we appreciate it thank you so much the preceding program has been a production of the caucus educational corporation celebrating over.

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