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Health Services


Diana Naser


As the healthcare industry continues to change, dental providers are concerned about the different types of adverse events that can occur if systemic diseases are not well understood when treating patients. The purpose of this study was to explore the level of understanding among dental care providers of the relationship between oral care and systemic diseases and how these are linked to adverse events. The theoretical foundation that was used for this study was the Swiss cheese model. The research questions were designed to address the level of understanding among dental care providers of the link between oral care and systemic diseases as well as their perceptions of adverse events in dentistry and why they occur. Using a qualitative phenomenological approach, interviews were conducted with 10 dental care providers who practice in the New Jersey area. As I reviewed the field notes and listened to the audio recording, themes were developed to gain a deeper understanding of the research. The research findings revealed that dental providers have moderate knowledge of systemic disease and that some dentists had encountered an adverse event when providing oral care to patients; this experience led participants to look at patients' overall health instead of only oral care. Positive social change could result from improved training and education for dental providers to gain a better understanding of systemic diseases and systems such as the Swiss cheese model for preventing adverse events in patients with systemic diseases. Dental providers should be more involved with community services by providing health fairs to educate the public about why taking care of their oral health is as important as their physical health.

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