UTAH

Doctor urges treatment centers combine drug abuse therapy with dental care

Jan 31, 2018, 7:36 PM
teeth drug use...
File photo: In the first study of its kind, the University of Utah School of Dentistry provided dental care to 286 people undergoing substance abuse treatment at First Step and Odyssey House from 2015-2018. Researchers saw significant outcomes, with those who received the dental care staying in treatment two times longer and an 80 percent increase in them completing their programs, as compared with those who did not receive the dental care.

SALT LAKE CITY — A new study out of the University of Utah argues that drug therapy is more successful when it goes hand in hand with treatments from a dentist.

Doctor Glen Hanson, Vice Dean in the School of Dentistry and author of the study, said about 40 percent of the people in state-funded treatment centers are suffering from serous oral health problems. There is no official program to fix the problems until they are emergencies. At that point Hanson said usually dentists will just pull the tooth instead of trying to save it.

“They can’t speak. These people have poor self image,” Hanson said.

So he found grant funding and set up a relationship with the First Step and Odyssey houses in Salt Lake City, offering their tennants free treatment for everything from gum disease to crowns.

“It made a dramatic difference,” Hanson said. “It improved their quality of life and as a result they became much more receptive to the {drug abuse} treatment.”

In a press release the University of Utah said patients who received comprehensive oral health care were:

· 50% more likely to complete treatment and not drop out
· 55% less likely to be homeless after discharge
· 200% more likely to abstain from drugs after discharge
· 300% more likely to find employment at the time of discharge
· Spending 75% more time in treatment vs. control group

“Really exciting to watch them leave the dental school,” Hanson said. “They’ll walk in front of the mirror and stop. They’ll look in the mirror and give this great big smile.”

Hanson said he’s already working with the legislature to create a bill that would provide funding and support for more treatments like this one.

 ​

Today’s Top Stories

Utah

A ballot drop box is pictured. Those wanting to vote in the utah primary election can still vote in...
Amie Schaeffer

Utah primary election: Acceptable ID to bring for in-person voting

Utah's Primary Election is today. Voters need to be sure they have the right identification to cast their ballot.
12 hours ago
bountiful porch thefts...
Dan Bammes

Bountiful woman arrested after allegedly stealing $6,000 from patient

Miller, who worked with the victim as a recreational therapist when the theft occurred.
12 hours ago
Photo: Utah Department of Transportation...
Mark Jones

UDOT seeks public feedback on future of Bangerter Highway

UDOT is hosting scoping open houses on Tuesday and Wednesday at Granger High School to get feedback on the future of Bangerter Highway between 4100 South and California Avenue.
2 days ago
A voter drops a ballot into a box at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Mo...
Becky Bruce

The Utah primary election is expected to be ‘pretty normal’

Tuesday's primary election in Utah is expected to be about average for a midterm election.
2 days ago
A voter fills in the ballot on the voting machine during the Election Day voting at Vivint Smart Ho...
Lindsay Aerts

State elections leaders dismiss state lawmakers claims of vote switching

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah — The State Elections Office says all of the state’s voting machines are working correctly ahead of Primary Election Day Tuesday. This comes after Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, made claims on social media, that some of the machines were changing people’s votes. Screenshot of Lyman’s social media post. Lyman posted on Facebook […]
2 days ago
Over 200 behives broke on I-80 as the semi-truck transporting them rolled. Photo credit: Park City ...
Devin Oldroyd

Semi-truck transporting over 200 beehives rolls over on I-80

Over 200 behives broke on I-80 as the semi-truck transporting them rolled.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Doctor urges treatment centers combine drug abuse therapy with dental care