The end of 'fix it' dentistry

Patient outcomes can continue to improve as medical-dental integration and preventive measures continue to advance, according to Saam Zarrabi, DDS.

Dr. Zarrabi is the founder and CEO of Fort Worth, Texas-based Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics. The organization supports more than 40 offices in Texas, Arizona and Colorado. 

Dr. Zarrabi recently spoke with Becker's about how medical-dental integration is affecting healthcare and patient outcomes.

Editor's note: This response was lightly edited for clarity and length. 

Question: Have you been following medical-dental integration initiatives? What are your thoughts on this?

Dr. Zarrabi: A hundred percent. As oral health providers, our responsibility goes beyond just being the "fix it" doctors. Historically, the dentist has been viewed as, "I'm in pain, it's broken, fix it." So shifting to more of a preventive-based focus and including nutrition, your overall health and all these things we set as guidelines to guide the patients toward better overall oral health and body health are key. We, as the oral health providers, see the patients on average more than any other healthcare provider if you look across the field. Collecting all that data that we get and getting it to where we have that strong bond with the medical community is only going to create better outcomes. The more the systems talk to each other, it's just going to get better and better as things automate and connect and talk to each other better.

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