Evidence-Based Integrated Care Plan (EBICP)
This category-leading plan feature incorporates oral-health research into a benefit enhancement that helps improve the health of your teeth and gums – and your whole body.
People with certain health conditions can benefit from extra dental care. For pregnant women or people with diabetes, cancer, kidney failure, heart conditions, suppressed immune systems, or progressive periodontal disease, the connection between those conditions and good oral health is well-documented.
That’s the “I” in EBICP. The program integrates oral healthcare with the medical management of selected diseases and conditions, helping you get and stay healthy.
Radiation and chemotherapy treatments for cancer can cause severe oral problems. Radiotherapy can affect salivary glands and oral tissues when their exposed to radiation. Pain, rapid tooth decay, and dry mouth are among the oral-health implications of cancer treatment. Also, some chemotherapy drugs increase the risk of jawbone-tissue loss due to infection.
Many side effects can be avoided or greatly reduced with diligent oral care and participation by the dental team in cancer treatment. Oral complications can be reduced by promptly completing all necessary restorations, removing teeth with a poor prognosis prior to cancer treatment, and establishing a preventive plan that includes increased dentist visits.
EBICP offers additional cleanings and topical fluoride applications for persons undergoing cancer treatment involving radiation and/or chemotherapy.
Infective Endocarditis (IE) is a rare but life-threatening condition where bacteria colonize on heart tissues. Since bacteria associated with this condition are similar to bacteria commonly found in the mouth, maintaining good oral health and eliminating oral disease can decrease the frequency of infection.
Other conditions associated with a higher risk of IE are:
- The presence of a prosthetic cardiac valve
- Previous IE
- Congenital heart disease
- Unrepaired cyanotic heart disease, including palliative shunts and conduits
- Repaired congenital defects where a prosthetic material is used or residual defects still occur
- Cardiac-transplant recipients
For patients with a history of susceptibility to periodontal (gum) diseases, periodontal maintenance needs to be conducted more frequently. Data analysis show that these nonsurgical benefits are more economical than periodontal surgery, in addition to being health-preserving and reducing the rate of tooth loss.
EBICP offers additional cleanings and topical fluoride application for persons with prior treatment of periodontal disease.
Suppressed immune systems can result from an autoimmune disease, like Sjögren's syndrome or HIV/AIDS, or from immune-system suppression caused by drugs such as those used to prevent rejection of transplants.
A suppressed immune system can trigger adverse oral-health conditions. Patients with autoimmune conditions or those taking immunosuppressive drugs require additional dental care to prevent these complications and detect conditions that may be early indicators of more serious problems. The most common oral complication, dry mouth, increases the chances of tooth decay and other problems. Early detection and more frequent dentist visits help maintain good oral health.
EBICP offers additional cleanings and topical fluoride application for persons with suppressed immune systems.
As the fifth deadliest disease in the United States, diabetes is one of America's heaviest health burdens. The American Diabetes Association estimates that nearly 25 million children and adults in America are living with diabetes, either diagnosed (18 million) or undiagnosed (7 million). An additional 81 million Americans are believed to be pre-diabetic.
The relationship between diabetes and oral health, specifically periodontal disease, is well-accepted. Studies have consistently reported evidence of a greater prevalence, incidence, severity, extent, and/or progression of periodontal disease in diabetics.
Beyond diabetes' worsening effect on periodontal disease, many experts believe that severe periodontal disease increases the severity of diabetes and complicates metabolic control. Studies have shown that treatment of periodontal disease improves glycemic control.
EBICP offers additional cleanings for persons with diabetes.
The link between kidney disease and gum disease was first reported in 2005. Subsequent studies have confirmed that individuals with chronic kidney disease and those undergoing dialysis have a higher prevalence of gum disease and tooth loss.
Studies have also shown that the severity of oral disease is related to the level of progression of kidney dysfunction, with periodontal disease developing prior to dialysis and becoming more severe throughout the course of dialysis. Identifying this risk and providing early and adequate treatment may help prevent the onset or reduce the severity of periodontal disease.
EBICP offers additional cleanings for persons with kidney failure or who are on dialysis.
A quarter of pregnant women don't see the dentist at all during pregnancy, and 38 percent visit the dentist just once. This can cause ongoing health problems for mother and baby.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, about 50 percent of women get “pregnancy gingivitis,” a disease that makes gums sore and swollen.
Dentists can identify gum and teeth problems during a routine checkup. Besides brushing, flossing, and chewing sugar-free gum, women should get a thorough dental exam if they are planning to become pregnant. They also should get their teeth cleaned professionally every three months once they know they are expecting.
EBICP offers an additional cleaning for pregnant women.