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Tex Dent J. 2013 Nov;130(11):1123-7.

What dentists should know about sickle cell disease.

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JPS Health Network, Tarrant County, Texas, USA.


The medical history should be a communication between the patient and the dentist. A good history will reveal a patient's medical problems,concerns, ideas, and expectations. Understanding medical conditions on a patient's medical history is of up most importance in providing the patient with the best possible standard of care. Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. Normal red blood cells contain hemoglobin A. People with sickle cell disease have red blood cells containing mostly hemoglobin S, an abnormal type of hemoglobin. These mutated sickle cells do not have the smooth motion needed for oxygenation and deoxygenation. One of the main concerns in sickle cell disease is the reversible extreme pain episodes called “sickle cell crisis.”Pain episodes occur when sickle cells clog small vessels, depriving the body of adequate blood and oxygen. Treatment of the sickle cell patient should be a team approach between dentist,patient, and physician. Dental treatments should be conservative and stress free for the patient.Prevention of dental disease and infections are of the up most importance to the sickle cell patient.If your patient has sickle cell disease, know about it and talk to your patient about the disease.Maintaining excellent oral health to decrease the possibility of oral infections will ensure the best care for these patients.Key words: communication, sickle cell disease (SCD), sickle cell anemia (SCA), blood inherited disorder, sickle cell trait, crisis, African Americans, deoxygenation, hemoglobin,supporting dentist, prophylactic antibiotics, and infection.

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