Dental students are exposed to an extensive amount of information daily. To increase retention of PV/MMP curricula, the IPPF will send Patient Educators to U.S. dental schools to provide an emotional appeal to students. Patient Educators share their personal journey toward receiving a PV/MMP diagnosis. Dental students are encouraged to attend these lectures, share their experience with peers and on social media, and put PV/MMP on their radar for when they are in future practice.
Because of their direct relationship with patients, dental hygienists play an important role in the IPPF Awareness Campaign by providing proper care in dental maintenance to PV/MMP patients, spreading awareness, and sharing key symptom recognition messages with other oral health care providers. Dental hygienists can read about PV/MMP care and maintenance tips in an April 2014 article in the American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s Access Magazine. Dental hygienists should introduce every patient with PV/MMP to the IPPF.
General dentists have the unique opportunity to shorten diagnosis times by recognizing PV/MMP symptoms and referring patients to a dentist or dental specialist experienced in performing biopsies of vesiculobullous lesions. Dentists could reduce a patient’s uncertainty and anxiety by confidently educating a patient about PV/MMP and reassuring the patient that effective treatments exist. Based on IPPF 2011 patient-reported data, 46% of P/P patients (n=52) who saw a dentist said their dentist was not knowledgeable about P/P symptoms and performed no action relevant to P/P. Forty-percent (40%) were referred to another healthcare provider. Only 13% received a diagnosis. The IPPF is available to assist dentists in their professional development through continuing education courses on PV/MMP. In addition, dentists should introduce every patient with PV/MMP to the IPPF.
Periodontists & Oral Surgeons
It is common for patients to first see a dentist and then be referred to a dental specialist, such as a periodontist or oral surgeon. Based on IPPF 2011 patient-reported data, 14% of P/P patients (n=44) who saw a dental specialist, said their dental specialist was not knowledgeable about P/P symptoms and performed no action relevant to P/P. Forty-three percent (43%) were referred to another healthcare provider, and 43% received a diagnosis. It is important for periodontists and oral surgeons to be well-versed in performing biopsies of vesiculobullous lesions. The IPPF encourages dental specialists to introduce every patient with PV/MMP to the IPPF.
- Consider PV/MMP in your differential diagnosis when a patient presents with oral lesions.
- A biopsy must be performed to achieve a diagnosis. This should be performed by a dentist or dental specialist experienced in performing biopsies of vesiculobullous lesions.
- Refer every patient diagnosed with pemphigus or pemphigoid to the IPPF!