"It was requested that any story be submitted as a testimonial to the importance of AAOSH and the knowledge we gain to improve upon our practice. I submit to you my experience and the life changing affects this has had on me personally and professionally.
I am a practicing Registered Dental Hygienist of 28 years in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. I own an independent dental hygiene practice that focuses on prevention. Since attending the scientific conferences my practice has flourished not only because of the knowledge I have gained but also it has given me the courage to “step outside the box” when communicating with my clients, my professional colleagues as well as medical specialists when it comes to treatment options.
In April 2011 I felt my husband’s neck. In April 2011 I knew something wasn’t right. Working in a preventive model, oral cancer screenings are routine with every recare appointment. The anatomy and texture of the neck and face is something that has become ingrained within my fingertips. The curvature of the jaw line, the symmetry or asymmetry of the face and contour of the neck is something that is automatically scanned when greeting the patient. Treatment doesn’t only begin in the chair; in this case it began sitting at home at the kitchen table on a sunny Sunday morning having coffee.
Long story short - Following the manipulation of my husband’s neck when noticing a slight thickness in the contour line and a texture that could be felt at the tip of my middle finger, a doctor’s appointment was made. The general practitioner could not detect any abnormality so my husband was told to go home. A second appointment was made at my insistence and once again, my husband was told he was fine however was given antibiotics. My husband refused to return feeling like a burden to the GP so a telephone call requesting a specialist appointment be made to follow up. At this time the texture in his neck had become thick and dense. Consequently the ENT could not feel any oddity in the neck nevertheless ordered an ultrasound to be preformed. It was here a large parotid tumor was confirmed.
In August 2012 my husband had surgery to remove the tumor followed by 32 radiation treatments. The tumor had grown and wrapped itself around the facial nerve hence requiring dissection and radiation. June 2013 is when life finally returned to normal and it was with great pleasure that my husband accompanied me to Las Vegas for the 2013 AAOSH presentations as this was his first pleasurable outing since this ordeal began. He was present at the premier viewing of Say AHH- The Cavity in Health Care Reform. He sat with tears streaming down his cheeks then leaned over and quietly whispered thank you. AAOSH has changed our lives. It has made me a diligent professional, because of that, I remain being a wife and my four children still have their father. His case was documented with photos throughout treatment and is now being used to educate and train fellow professionals on oral cancer throughout the world. This is only one example of the many that have passed through my practice benefiting from oral/systemic care. From oral cancer to cardio vascular disease, we can all make a difference, we just need to step up and out of the comfort box.
Yours for better health, "Julie DiNardo RDH – founding member of AAOSH
"By becoming a member of AAOSH and attending the Annual Scientific Session I have given myself a professional gift that I can now share with the world. The knowledge that I have gained about the oral systemic relationship is immeasurable. I have a renewed passion for my profession and an intense desire to share the wellness message, not only my patients, but with the general public. This has been a wake up call. I am now POSITIVE that I can personally impact another person's life for the better by sharing my knowledge and by treating periodontal disease. My life has been changed and I invite all of my colleagues to gain this renewed sense of determination by embracing the oral systemic evidence, and move forward with this new wave in dentistry!"Geralyn Beers RDH B.S.
"Medical and dental integration is the future of overall health. Cleveland Clinic was an excellent choice as a partner in wellness. This is an exciting time in our profession."Michel E. Couret, DDS
"Oral systemic health is the most important change coming to dentistry and medicine!"Bradley R. Hepler, DDS
"AAOSH opens a whole new world in the dental providers treatment of periodontal disease through the dental medical connection. The information will help practices in bridging the gap and treat and potentially save patient’s lives."Shannon Boyle
"AAOSH is life changing and life saving. A must for tomorrow’s health care professional!"Janet Hagerman
"I just can’t understand dentist that are not interested in the oral systemic link. How can one be satisfied making and filling holes in teeth"Helen Alderson, RDH
"This wellness information must be brought to the political arena. Rapid advancement in wellness and inflammation reduction can only take place when the public gets off of government dollars supplementation. The prevalence of poor food choices is too great. How can the general population be healthy when they eat crap!"Unsigned
"This is how we always wanted to practice dental hygiene. This meeting has brought excitement and rekindled passion back to my chosen path of saving lives one at a time. Now I know this will be possible! Thank you!"Aimeelee Conish, RDH
"Excellent source of information about the correlation of multiple disciplines in medicine – that all need to be considered in total health. Incredible amount of information about how to achieve and maintain optimal health."Sandy Fowler, RDH
"As a clinical dental hygienist, I’ve seen the impact of periodontal disease on whole body health and witnessed how western medicine has long viewed the mouth and the rest of the body separately. Being a member of the evolving and enthusiastic American Academy of Oral Systemic Health, I am participating in a network of continuously available and consistently updated information regarding the connection between oral health and systemic health. Plus, AAOSH brings together, dentists, physicians, scientists, nurses and dental hygienists creating an outstanding opportunity for in depth interdisciplinary conversation which is designed to only improve the health and wellbeing of our collective patients. Riding this new wave of oral health care partnered with AAOSH presents the most advanced resource for creating “partnerships in wellness “ that I could possibly find in the professional arena."Christine Valentini, RDH
"I encourage all my dental hygiene colleagues to make a very wise investment in yourself and your career by attending the AAOSH 2012 Annual Scientific Session in Cleveland. I attended last year’s inaugural event and it certainly changed my career and passion for wellness. The energy and synergy of professionals was an environment I want you to experience as well. The return on investment in your own health and the health of your patients is immeasurable."Patti Milam, RDH, BS
"Wild horse couldn’t keep me away from this meeting. I am attending the conference as an attendee and a sponsor.
Here are my reasons for both:
As an attendee: Over the years I have attended hundreds of dental meetings – some better than others, but NONE as energetic, forward thinking and truly life changing as last year’s AAOSH meeting. I am on a path to learn how to treat patients on a whole new level and to improve my own health. This meeting with its unique speakers and key opinion leaders in the field of holistic health and wellness is in total alignment with my current mission to learn all I can about optimal health. I am hoping to take home strategies for health that I can implement immediately for my own health and be able to teach other HCP how to implement them in their practices to help thousands of patients across the country and even the globe. As a side note, after last year’s Bale/Doneen presentation, I sought out a Bale/Doneen trained physician for myself and my family. We are all in better health now than we ever have been and we owe it all to AAOSH.
As a sponsor: I want to connect with like-minded practitioners whose mission it is to raise the bar in dentistry. For too long we have been back seat drivers in the medical arena. I see dentistry taking a leading role with patient care especially when it comes to prevention of disease by proactively screening patients for risk factors of heart disease, diabetes, cancer etc. Through education (for the patients and the medical community) we can then become a critical component of the referral process and closely monitor our patients because we see them on a regular basis. My passion is nutrition and with this speaker line up I am so excited to learn from leading experts like Dr Roisen and Esselstyn in person. This meeting continues to inspire us to question traditional modalities and for the open minded the sky is the limit for what we can accomplish in dentistry.CJacque Russo, RN DDS