Here’s the key to explaining the oral-systemic link

Do you know the difference between major surgery and minor surgery?

That’s the start of a joke that a friend of mine once shared with me. Do you know the answer? Well, my friend said, it’s major surgery if it is happening to you. It’s minor surgery if it’s happening to someone else.

Isn’t that true about how we view life? When something happens to us, we pay a lot more attention to it than when it is happening across town or across the globe. That’s what dental practices have to start thinking about when it comes to the oral-systemic connection.

It’s about knowing the medical history of the patient and how their oral health impacts that. If heart disease runs in my family, I’m going to care a lot more about those statistics than I will about smoking (which does not run in my family at all).

Let me share some thoughts with you along this path in the video below.

Note: “Sarah Stambaugh – teeth” by Mike Burns is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

David Rice

David Rice

Founder of the nation’s largest student and new-dentist community, igniteDDS, David R. Rice, DDS, travels the world speaking, writing, and connecting today’s top young dentists with tomorrow’s most successful dental practices. He is the editorial director of DentistryIQ and leads a team-centered restorative and implant practice in East Amherst, New York. With 27 years of practice in the books, Dr. Rice is trained at the Pankey Institute, the Dawson Academy, Spear Education, and most prolifically at the school of hard knocks.