Elevating Dental Care to Whole Health Care

By Kathryn Gilliam, RDH, BA

One hundred million Americans are infected with periodontal disease. It is recognized to increase risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other systemic diseases. Current scientific evidence links periodontal disease, in various ways, to a myriad of health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and chronic respiratory disease.

As evidence of the multiple connections between periodontal disease and systemic disease becomes well established, it is imperative that every dental professional learn how periodontal disease and systemic diseases are linked. New clinical procedures must be established to address risk assessment and treatment protocols with the focus on whole body health, not just oral health.

Empowering teams to elevate their professional identities as dental healthcare practitioners is my passion. To achieve this goal, I established my company, PerioLinks, to provide clinical education to dental teams regarding the link between oral and systemic health and disease. I work one-on-one with teams to develop easily implemented and sustainable clinical protocols to address the total health needs of patients within the general dental practice. I train teams to utilize the newest technology, including laboratory testing, to incorporate a medical model into the treatment of periodontal disease, giving them the ability to evaluate the true state of pathogenic infection and the results achieved with treatment. I teach dental professionals how to establish working rapport with medical professionals to co-manage our mutual patient’s health, integrating medical and dental care for the maximum benefit of the patients’ long-term health. This is the future of healthcare. I’m excited to help transform dentistry, one practice at a time, as our profession evolves for the new era of whole body health.


Contributor:

Kathryn Gilliam’s interest in the medical side of dentistry led her to years of advanced study into the oral-systemic link, including graduating from the prestigious Bale Doneen Preceptorship. Her company, PerioLinks, LLC, was born out of her desire to train dental teams to transform their practices to care for the total health of their patients through comprehensive periodontal treatment.

 

View Kathryn’s full bio