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Should A Dentist Screen for Diabetes?

Posted on August 2, 2011 | in Oral Systemic Dentistry | by

UPDATED October 7, 2017

Dentists Screen for Diabetes

Dentists Can Screen for Diabetes?

In case you missed the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Dental Research, we’ll choose this incredibly popular social dental-centric forum to pass along some important health information that recently made the dental headlines.

OK, you’re right – it’s not such a popular forum, but this news is…

According to a recent study out of the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, our dentists can now accurately test for diabetes and prediabetes. (Journal of Dental Research, July 2011, Vol. 90 No.7, pp. 855-860).

In the study titled, Identification of Unrecognized Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes in a Dental Setting, published in the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Dental Research, researchers at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine found that dental visits present a great opportunity [for our dentists] to identify people with diabetes or pre-diabetes who are unaware of their condition.

Click the link to read more about how dentists can help identify diabetes or prediabetes risk factors.

Old news you say, we already helped broadcast this message in a factually correct and tirelessly researched, grammatically perfect previous blog post?

Right again; but with this news on diabetes and dentistry, why are we not all clamoring away asking our dentists if they are going to offer such a screening on the regular?

And, why are we even asking IF our dentists should administer this completely pain-free, non-invasive, and relatively simple [for our dentists] diagnostic procedure?

Because, it seems like there is some concern as to whether or not this is going to become a normal part of our dental patient experience.

Why Should Dentists Screen for Diabetes?

If you’re interested in the debate that surely involves more politics than the local Royal Order of Antelope meeting, you can click the link toward the bottom of the page to open the recent article from

In case catching up on the latest dental news doesn’t really warrant your click thrus, allow us to paraphrase – however loosely defined that may be.

In the article examining dentists screening for diabetes, a dentist from Texas discussed the widespread adoption of the new screening protocol; saying that while he agrees the suggested screening procedure is easy and that screening is important, it is unlikely most dental offices will do it.

Dr. Marc Whitmore goes on to mention,

“In fact, much like comprehensive oral cancer screening, it is unfortunately a niche service,” he told

“Some dentists and dental personnel are actively educating patients about their overall systemic health and the implications of the oral health markers.”

“But is this level of concern common in our profession? Sadly, no.”

Read the complete article by clicking this link, Should dentists screen for diabetes?

We think Dr. Whitmore makes a great point; how only some dentists are actively educating their patients about their overall systemic health.

We’re sure if you’re still here reading this, you’re lucky enough to be in the minority of dental patients out there that actually have a dentist (and dental team) that not only cares enough to utilize state of the art technology in performing their magic, but also employs cutting edge patient communications to keep you up to date on the most important dental and overall systemic health information!

Be sure to choose your dentist wisely; and the next time your dentist asks for a testimonial, do them one better and use technology to broadcast your tip-top tooth doc to the masses via Facebook, Google, Angieslist, Healthgrades…or any of your preferred local online review websites of choice!

It feels good to give something back.

Believe it or not, some dentists actually feel invasive if they ‘bother’ us with such information by way of email, or newsletter, or direct mail piece.

Let them know that’s not the case.

Could our overall systemic health ever become a bother?

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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