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Quintessence Int. 2018;49(10):855-861. doi: 10.3290/j.qi.a41204.

Multidisciplinary dentistry for transitional care patients.


A growing patient population is adolescents and young adults who have had one or more serious medical problems and are aging into adulthood. This group of patients has unique medical needs, which has resulted in the development of a specialized area of medicine: transitional care medicine. The case reviews of two of these patients are described. Patient 1 was a 23-year-old man with hereditary pancreatitis. His genetic condition resulted in the need for pancreatic splenectomy and removal of part of his small bowel, resulting in insulin-dependent diabetes and malnutrition. These complex clinical issues and the challenges of chronic pain were further complicated by severe anxiety disorder and substance abuse. He presented to the University of Rochester Medical Center's Complex Care Center (CCC), an interdisciplinary clinic that provides care for adults with pediatric onset conditions, staffed with both dentists and physicians, with acute pain from a grossly decayed premolar tooth. His blood glucose measured > 500 mg/dL and he was experiencing an acute episode of anxiety. With the expertise and experience of center staff his care needs could be met. Patient 2 was a 32-year-old woman with chronic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, drug-associated lupus, and mental health problems including depression. This condition requires her to be managed with broad spectrum immunosuppression to prevent joint inflammation that results in significant joint destruction and bone loss. She presented to the CCC with an abscessed molar tooth, which prevented her from receiving her required immunotherapy, IV tocilizamab. While monitored by on-site physicians, a center dentist could safely proceed with the extraction. These cases illustrate that, as the population of transitional care patients grows, general dentists can learn to work on-site with physicians and allied health per-sonnel to meet the need.


case report/series; complex diseases; interdisciplinary team; special health care needs; transitional care


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