Oral health care
Collaborative relationship between medical and dental facilities
Background: Recent studies have reported an association between periodontal disease and mortality among dialysis patients. Therefore, preventive dental care should be considered very important for this population. In Japan, no systematic education has been undertaken regarding the importance of preventive dental care for hemodialysis patients—even though these individuals tend to have oral and dental problems. The aim of this study was to investigate the current state of collaborative relationships between hemodialysis facilities and dental services in Japan and also to identify strategies to encourage preventive dental visits among hemodialysis outpatients.
Methods: A nationwide questionnaire on the collaborative relationship between dialysis facilities and dental facilities was sent by mail to all medical facilities in Japan offering outpatient hemodialysis treatment.
Results: Responses were obtained from 1414 of 4014 facilities (35.2%). Among the 1414 facilities, 272 (19.2%) had a dental service department. Approximately 100,000 dialysis outpatients were receiving treatment at these participating facilities, which amounts to one-third of all dialysis patients in Japan. Of those patients, 82.9% received hemodialysis at medical facilities without dental departments. Only 87 of 454 small clinics without in-house dental departments (19.2%) had collaborative registered dental clinics. Medical facilities with registered dental clinics demonstrated a significantly more proactive attitude to routine collaboration on dental matters than facilities lacking such clinics.
Conclusions: Our nationwide survey revealed that most dialysis facilities in Japan have neither an in-house dental department nor a collaborative relationship with a registered dental clinic. Registration of dental clinics appears to promote collaboration with dental facilities on a routine basis, which would be beneficial for oral health management in hemodialysis patients.
Springer Nature|BioMed Central
© 2015 Yoshioka et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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