Sales and Marketing Director, Nigel Jones, caught up with Brian Anderson, of Total Health Screens, to look at how the company is offering general health screenings alongside dental appointments…
NJ: Can you talk me through how Total Health Screens was founded and what the company does?
BA: I began working in dentistry in 2004 as part of strategic corporate employee wellness programmes. Over the years we began implemented point of care screenings with employees in conjunction with dental practices, providing education on the connection of oral & general health.
From there, I thought that it would make sense for dental health professionals to take advantage of the fact patients came to see them regularly. So, that was when we founded the company, and since then we have been bringing screenings to a growing number of clients. During the screenings for general health, we check people’s full lipid cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, BMI, waist to height ratio. This can also include HbA1c and vitamin D screenings.
NJ: So, what you’re doing is using those attendance figures to improve people’s overall general health? Also, do you think that people have become more health conscious in this post Covid world?
BA: Yes, that’s right. Some people say, ‘oh, only half of the population go to see a dental professional, however when you say it is 33 million people, which is half of the UK population, that does sound very impressive. That is a lot of people who see a dental professional, despite many associating dentistry to time, pain, and money.
We believe this number presents a huge opportunity for dentistry to support people improving their general health, and show how dental professionals focus on more than just teeth. It is very simple for teams to implement and the great thing about it is it takes just minutes from undertaking the testing to getting the results.
On your other question, the pandemic has been hard for all of us. It has put a spotlight on our individual health and people have become more aware of their overall health, so these screenings give an opportunity to provide patients with something that is affordable and accessible.
NJ: So, if I am a dentist and I’m sold on the idea that I’ve got regular patients who I could offer health screening services to, what happens then? How do I deal with that patient when they come into the practice?
BA: Patients’ visiting the practice fill out medical history questionnaires for the dental team, and these can be useful when it comes to opening up the conversation and first floating the idea of health screenings. You can use the details in that health questionnaire to discuss their wider health, because as we know, general and oral health are very much linked.
From what is on the questionnaire, you can say to a patient that it might be wise to do a blood pressure test or another test, to check on their overall general health to see if there are any issues that need addressing. In that initial conversation, you can explain how these screens take just two minutes, but can provide them with an overall big picture of their health and give them added value from their visit.
NJ: How does a practice set up to provide those health screenings?
BA: As a company we are here to do all this for you. First of all, we engage with your team, explain to them the benefits of these screens and explain how oral and general health are linked. So, the first point is around education. Then we provide and equip your practice with everything you will need to carry out screening, before training all your staff so they are confident in using all the apparatus they need to. And, in most cases, the screen procedures are simpler to carry out than placing an implant or removing a cavity – they are 30 second processes that give you results in two minutes.
As a company, we will hold your hand through the process and make sure you are up to speed on all the equipment and tests, so you can feel confident you are providing a top quality health service alongside your dental offering.
NJ: If people wanted to find out more about Total Health Screens, where should we direct them?
BA: For more information go to totalhealthscreens.com. You can contact us at email@example.com. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.