Implications of medical screenings of patients arriving for dental treatment: The results of a comprehensive laboratory screening

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8 Scopus citations


Results. The authors found 414 abnormal laboratory test results (an average of 2.42 per patient). Eighty-three percent of participants had one or more abnormal test results, 83 percent had abnormal test results and did not indicate a relevant disease in their medical history, and 18 percent had laboratory test results outside the 99 percent reference range (that is, three standard deviations from the mean). Abnormal test results were significantly associated with sex, age, race and medical history (P.05). Abnormal test results associated with kidney disease were related to patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as those who tended to be on average older than 50 years.

Methods. The authors collected serum, urine and medical histories from 171 patients (116 [68 percent] women; mean age, 43.4 years) who arrived for dental treatment as a component of a clinical trial and performed complete blood cell counts, standard blood chemistry panels and urinalysis on the samples.

Conclusions. The high frequency of significant abnormal laboratory test results detected in this study suggests that many patients may be unaware of their medical statuses.

Practical Implications. Abnormal laboratory test results are detected frequently in the serum and urine of patients arriving for dental treatment, which could indicate undiagnosed disease and less than optimal medical management.

Background. The authors conducted medical laboratory screenings in a dental setting to determine the relationships between the laboratory test results and self-reported medical health findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1035
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Beech Tree Labs, Providence, R.I.; grant P20 GM103538 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences; and grant UL1TR000117 from the National Center for Applied and Translational Sciences.


  • Blood
  • Clinical laboratory techniques
  • Laboratory screening
  • Mass screening
  • Medical history taking
  • Serum
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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