Interdisciplinary Approach to Oral Care among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Quality Improvement Project
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The DNP project focused on the need to optimize the care provided to patients diagnosed with T2DM receiving care in a medical clinic in southeastern Texas. The project inquiry question: In adult (18-65 years of age) patients with the diagnosis of T2DM visiting the rural community supported indigent clinic, does standardized prophylactic dental treatment (SPDT) care (dental exam and cleaning and education) compared to no dental referral and education about dental care impact the HbA1c over a 2-year time period (2018-2019)? The quality improvement project analyzed the intervention of a dental clinic, providing prophylactic dental treatment to type 2 diabetic patients. A chart review of 411 patients identified 58 patients who met the criteria for the project. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to identify the impact of dental care on the patients with T2DM and their HbA1c levels. While the data was not statistically significant only showing p < 0.33 for the total HbA1c and p < 0.822 of the HbA1c between male and female, there was a clinical significance observed by a decrease in the HbA1c over the three time periods. The project does show the need for a standardized referral process for the patients with the diagnosis of diabetes to the dental clinic for annual exams and care.