Journal of Interdisciplinary Dentistry

: 2015  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 111-

Referral trend: A need for prevention

G Aruna 
 Department of Periodontology, JSS Dental College and Hospital, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
G Aruna
Department of Periodontology, JSS Dental College and Hospital, Mysore, Karnataka

How to cite this article:
Aruna G. Referral trend: A need for prevention.J Interdiscip Dentistry 2015;5:111-111

How to cite this URL:
Aruna G. Referral trend: A need for prevention. J Interdiscip Dentistry [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Nov 26 ];5:111-111
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

It has been a few decades that research in the field of medicine has overwhelmingly influenced our state of living. The advancements from the use of newer drugs to the use of gene and targeted therapies have greatly diversified the platform of “search and research ” to infinity. Having such explorations on one side, the concept of prevention should also assume its rightful place emphasizing a proverbial saying of 17th century “prevention is better than cure. ” Therefore, as I read the articles the term “referral trend ” by Deepthi et al.[1] caught my attention.

Patient referral is pivotal in interdisciplinary practice which facilitates coordinated diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, this sector of patient care is usually neglected and given a low priority. The timely referral of patients to a periodontists can substantially reduce the morbidity associated with the disease if intervened appropriately. It is definitely the role of general practitioner to educate the patients about their periodontal status and take a fair opinion from the specialist. Repetitive sessions of mere scaling and root planning by a general dentist would rather be more strenuous and exhaustive, forcing patients to discontinue the treatment. Instead, a more targeted therapy by a specialist, which is definitely result-oriented, should be the option for better patient care. A survey of 160 members of Michigan dental association showed negative attitude toward periodontal referrals among general dentists and more frequent use of systemic antibiotics in their treatment protocol which could contribute to the development of resistance microbiota among the patients.[2] Hence, periodontists should play a vital role in sculpting positive attitudes among the general dentists.

Moving further toward “systems medicine ” a two-way link between systemic disorders and periodontal disease is well-established; hence, proper communication and referrals among the dentists and general practitioners can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, pre-term low birth weight, stroke, and many more conditions. Therefore, collaboration between medical practitioners and dentists is also imperative which can redefine and mark a new beginning “the era of preventive medicine. ”

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Conflicts of interest

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1Cherian DA, Dayakar MM, Thermadam TP. Rationale of referral of patients to a periodontist by general practitioners: Review with a cross-sectional survey. J Interdiscip Dentistry 2015;5:7-11.
2Lee JH, Bennett DE, Richards PS, Inglehart MR. Periodontal referral patterns of general dentists: Lessons for dental education. J Dent Educ 2009;73:199-210.