May 2007
Volume 3, Issue 5

From the Editor

Gerard Kugel, DMD, MS, PhD

Dear Readers:

Dentistry’s current place at the center stage of health care remains secure as the wealth of research to support an oral/systemic link continues to grow. The most recent addition to the literature is a noteworthy intervention study published in the March 1 New England Journal of Medicine by Maurizio Tonetti, DMD, PhD, and colleagues, entitledTreatment of Periodontitis and Endothelial Function.”

The Significance of Periodontal Treatment. In short, the research by Tonetti and colleagues demonstrated that treatment of severe periodontitis was associated with improvement in endothelial function. All of us at Inside Dentistry are pleased to dedicate the cover feature presentation of this issue to a comprehensive look at the implications of this important study. And there are many: public oral health policy; future research initiatives; medical/dental team collaboration; views of periodontal disease as a risk factor for medical conditions such as atherosclerosis; and others.

Timely and Topical. The basic science explored in this research is specifically relevant to today’s practice, especially since patients are frequently seeing their dentists more than they may see their primary care physicians. This places us in a powerfully significant position in terms of our patients’ health. More and more this type of research is positioning dentistry and the oral health care profession at an elevated level.

The Promise for the Future. As we’ve mentioned before, the inherent value of research such as this is the promise it holds for improving the oral health and well being of our patients and the public overall. If—as we explored in our March issue—patients do indeed want dental professionals to care for them beyond functional esthetics, then this is the type of information on which we need to rely when we make our decisions on how and to what extent to advise our patients.

On behalf of everyone at Inside Dentistry, we hope you enjoy this issue and our look at the implications of the recent publication by Dr. Maurizio Tonetti and his colleagues. As always, we encourage you to send us your thoughts and reactions to our clinical content and editorial coverage to letters@insidedentistry.net. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your continued support.

With sincere thanks,

Gerard Kugel, DMD, MS, PhD
Associate Dean for Research
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
Boston, Massachusetts
gkugel@aegiscomm.com

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