Blood glucose testing in dental practices: a community-based feasibility study [poster] Conference Poster uri icon


  • Problem Statement: Diabetes prevalence has increased significantly. Optimal glycemic control is found in only 35% of diabetes patients (NHANES 1999-2000). Diabetes prevalence continues to increase suggesting additional methods are needed for screening patients at risk for the disease as well as those who are undiagnosed or whose disease is poorly managed. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of blood glucose screening in dental practices in the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (NationalDentalPBRN) and was comprised of community dental practices across 5 regions: Alabama/Mississippi; Florida/Georgia; Minnesota; Permanente Dental Associates in cooperation with Kaiser Permanente NW Research Foundation; and Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden). Methods: Dental practitioners and/or staff were trained in how to use a handheld glucometer (FreeStyle Freedom Lite, Abbott Diabetes Care). Consecutive patients =19 years of age with one or more risk factor for diabetes were enrolled until 15 qualified and consented in each practice. Barriers and benefits to glucose testing in dental practice were reported using patient and dentist/staff questionnaires. Results: Dental practitioners and staff (n=67) in community-based dental practice settings (n=28) enrolled patients (n=498) into the study according to National Dental PBRN developed protocol. Most dentists considered glucose testing necessary (93%), agreed that testing was beneficial (85%), and agreed that testing may help identify patients at risk for periodontal disease (75%). Among dentist identified barriers to use, 22% perceived testing as time-consuming (58% disagreed); 5% expressed cost would be a barrier (51% disagreed) and 5% thought that testing will open practices to liability (72% disagreed). Among patient-respondents, most (83%) thought glucose testing in dental practice was a good idea (2% disagreed). Also most patients (85%) reported that testing was easy (2% disagreed) and 62% said the test made them more likely to recommend other patients to the practice because glucose testing was conducted. Conclusion: Glucose testing was generally well-received by both patients and dental practitioners and their staff. Results should dispel beliefs that glucose testing is time consuming, costprohibitive, and poorly accepted by dental patients.

publication date

  • 2013