ADA symposium to empower dentists to be leaders in overall health

Dentistry’s Role in Complete Health will cover skills needed to address chronic conditions

Dr. Edgar
Dr. Shepley

A symposium hosted by the American Dental Association in June will equip dental professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to play a pivotal role in addressing chronic health conditions.

Dentistry’s Role in Complete Health, taking place June 21-22 at ADA Headquarters in Chicago, is open to dentists and their team members. Led by a team of researchers, clinicians, authors and educators, the symposium will emphasize the mouth as the gateway to overall health and empower participants to be leaders in health care.

“Collaboration — both in patient care and shared learning — is necessary among the dental and medical professionals who are dedicated to making people healthy,” said ADA President Linda J. Edgar, D.D.S. “The ADA is excited to welcome some of the leading voices in medicine, dentistry and oral-systemic health to this important symposium in support of this purpose.”

The symposium, which is worth 11.5 continuing education credits, will cover dentists’ role in addressing periodontal and periapical disease, systemic inflammation, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, Alzheimer's and sleep disorders.

“As we know, oral health and overall health are essential,” said George R. Shepley, D.D.S., past ADA president. “This symposium on dental-medical integration is crucial as it promotes interdisciplinary collaboration between dental and medical professionals, with the goal of improving comprehensive health and outcomes for patients. The goal is to gain a new understanding and awareness of the systemic connections between oral health and overall health and well-being."

Through the symposium, dentists will:

• Develop proficiency in employing an integrated dental medicine checklist as a systematic tool in daily clinical practice, facilitating comprehensive patient care and health assessment.

• Acquire the necessary skills to use high-resolution pulse oximetry for the evaluation of breathing-disordered sleep, enabling them to identify and address sleep-related concerns in their patients effectively.

• Gain competency in the application of salivary testing for the detection of oral pathogens, enhancing the ability to diagnose and manage oral health issues with precision and evidence-based strategies.

• Engage in collaborative roundtable discussions to establish protocols for the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of oral-systemic concerns, fostering a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and promoting holistic health outcomes.

• Explore and understand the role of dental professionals in advocating for complete health, learning how to integrate findings and collaborate with other medical specialists to significantly impact the overall well-being of patients and contribute to the improvement of the nation's health.

To learn more about the symposium and register, visit

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