“We have turned doctors into gods and worship their deity by offering up our bodies and our souls - not to mention our worldly goods. And yet paradoxically, they are the most vulnerable of human beings. Their suicide rate is eight times the national average. Their percentage of drug addiction is one hundred times higher. And because they are painfully aware that they cannot live up to our expectations, their anguish is unquantifiably intense. They have aptly been called 'wounded healers'"
- Erich Segal in Doctors
The Doctor’s Day is commemorated every year on July 1 in memory of a great doctor and teacher Prof Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. The mantra needed in the present day scenario is still the ones that have been traditionally being passed over. Proper examination and good history taking will give you half of your work done as you had well begun. We are living in an age where immense changes in technological advancements in diagnostic as well as treatment strategies. We being dentists have a major role as a good stomatologist in promptly diagnosing the oral manifestations of many systemic diseases and precancerous lesions at an earlier stage.
The proper early referral improves the prognosis and helps in earlier non-invasive therapies than going for invasive ones. The communication channel between dentists and medical fraternity should be open. COPD, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, low birth weight babies, end-stage renal disease, parkinsonism, rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction and recently allergic rhinitis have got some relation to your gum's health.
Be aware of dental caries and periodontal diseases and their sequelae. Advice to brush teeth twice daily and floss once daily. Motivate them to visit the dentist once in six months. Try to inculcate the habit of reading something it can be textbooks, journals, newsletters anything daily at least for an hour. Reading is one life skill that’s found to be missing these days in the plethora of cyber explosions.
In fact, the internet also has its advantages too to keep you updated with the latest in the field. But which all information have the real quality that means what all to take with a pinch of salt and what all to with a sack of salt, that differentiation should be understood. The medical specialist should be aware of the dental conditions and refer the cases to the dentist when needed. As in the acronym of TEAM - Together Everybody Achieves More - teamwork is the motto. The interdisciplinary approach and academic updating through continuing education programmes be the watchword.
Do ethical practice.
(Author is Senior Resident, Department of Periodontics, Government Dental College, Thiruvananthapuram)...