Dentists Ignore Good Work, rue govt docs; call for awareness
A government dentist reported to the Indian Dental Association (IDA), saying that most dentists, unlike general practitioners and surgeons, do not order viral markers and other important blood tests before proceeding. to an intervention, at the risk for the patients and themselves.
In an email to IDA President and National Secretary on Sunday, Dr. Jyotirmay Singh, Associate Professor, Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Patna Dental College and Hospital, said that on average two in 10 dentists advised blood tests before a simple tooth extraction or other dental procedure.
“HIV (to check for AIDS), HBsAg (hepatitis B), HCV (hepatitis C), bleeding and clotting time (time required for blood to clot during surgery), prothrombin time or PT (to detect bleeding) or excessive bleeding disorder) are essential tests that a dental surgeon should order before any procedure. Failure to test for HIV / AIDS and hepatitis can lead to the spread of infection resulting from a cut in the gums and endanger the doctor and other patients through contaminated equipment. “Said Dr Singh.
Likewise, blood sugar (affects wound healing), thyroid profile, and complete blood count (to check hemoglobin, platelets, white blood cell levels etc. for other chronic conditions or oral infection with long term), are equally important, Dr Singh added.
“A simple tooth extraction procedure can require a blood transfusion or even be fatal if blood sugar, blood pressure, PT, bleeding and clotting time parameters are disrupted. However, most dental surgeons at best will order a dental x-ray before proceeding with a procedure like root canal treatment with cap and bridge, scaling (cleaning the teeth) and deep curettage (cleaning the gums), etc. . Dr Singh added.
He urged IDA to disseminate information on the importance of these tests among its members.
By not ordering such blood tests, most dentists risked serious complications for themselves and their patients, said Dr Shivendra Choudhary, professor and head of the department of dentistry at Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH).
“At least 60% of dentists in the state lack awareness and do not conduct a proper exam by ordering blood tests before a procedure. We are doing it at PMCH, ”he said.
“Some doctors, in private settings, don’t want to miss patients by prescribing a battery of tests, which pinches a patient’s pocket because the investigations are expensive. I have had personal experience of patients who do not come back to me for surgery after seeing me when I have ordered essential blood tests. From a physician ethics, personal safety, and patient perspective, dentists should follow a protocol and order blood tests before performing any oral procedures. Patients will accept it when all doctors follow the protocol, ”said Dr Choudhary.
Dr Nimmi Singh, Associate Professor, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), also regretted the lack of awareness among dentists.
“Many patients referred to our center from rural areas are not prescribed a viral marker or blood tests. However, at IGIMS, we are emphasizing these tests, as well as the rapid antigen or real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for Covid-19, as dental surgeons are the most disease-prone. airborne and blood borne, ”she said.