Tim Brunson DCH

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Complementary and alternative medicine usage by patients of a dental school clinic.

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Dentistry, The University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Iowa City, Iowa Private Practice of General Dentistry, Ankeny, Iowa Professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Director of the Biostatistics Unit for the College of Dentistry Professor and Head, Department of Family Dentistry Biostatistician, Dows Institute for Dental Research, The University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Iowa City, Iowa Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, The University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa Associate Professor and Director of Dental Pharmacy, The University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Iowa City, Iowa.

This pilot study investigated the prevalence and specific reasons for usage of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among patients of a dental school clinic. Four hundred and two patients completed a 30-page survey on CAM usage. A higher rate of CAM usage was found in this dental school clinic population than rates previously reported in a general population. More than three-quarters (76.1%) of the respondents reported using at least one CAM treatment in the past 12 months; 93.3% reported using at least one CAM treatment at some time in their lives. High rates of chiropractic use were found in this population. Tooth pain was the most frequently reported dental condition motivating CAM use. About 10% of dental school clinic patients use topical oral herbal and/or natural products to treat dental conditions, most frequently for preventive/oral health reasons or for tooth pain.

Spec Care Dentist. 2012 Sep;32(5):177-183. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-4505.2012.00273.x. Spector ML, Fischer M, Dawson DV, Holmes DC, Kummet C, Nisly NL, Baker KA.

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