Jun 12, 2018
The ideology that dentistry as a
whole can be summarized by a simple routine procedure is obsolete.
With a lack of accessible dental healthcare and the need for
genuine understanding between dentists and patients, a change
within dentistry is imminent. This week on The Biofilm Factor, Dr.
Ryan Nolan talks with Dr. Caroline Zeller, advocate for improving
access to dental healthcare in the U.S. and host of Removing the
Bite Block podcast. They discuss the challenging social and
cultural topics of dentistry from dental education and policy
issues to bringing innovation to the long-established dental
approaches and paradigms. As they discuss the role of
socioeconomics in dentistry, they give voice to the demographics
that are not receiving the necessary oral care. Yet despite the
evidence supporting the socioeconomic link to oral health, it
continues to be disregarded. For more on The Biofilm Factor, follow
on Instagram @biofilmfactor and @ryannolandmd or find us on
Facebook at The Biofilm Factor Podcast.
Host: Dr. Ryan Nolan
Guest: Dr. Caroline
Bio of Dr. Caroline Zeller
Dr Caroline Zeller is a
passionate advocate for improving access to dental healthcare in
the U.S. She is the
host of a podcast called Removing the Bite Block. Dr. Zeller is
currently working on her master’s in
Public Health. Dr.
Zeller focuses on bringing national awareness to prevention, a lack
of access to healthcare professionals and changes in education. She
can be reached on instagram @carolinezellerdds and through her
She can also be reached on her podcast website at
inspired Dr. Zeller to look into dental healthcare?
group of people need dental healthcare improvements the most and
who can provide that? [4:10]
are the key problems that are preventing progression?
is Oregon providing for more patients through the Oregon Health
- States can more effectively customize plans for
their residents than a blanket federal policy. [13:07]
Zeller’s opinion on the current state of Medicaid and if it should
be expanded. [14:17]
- “Across the board more people are receiving
dental care when Medicaid is expanded.” -Dr. Zeller
important is the relationship between the ability to smile and an
individual’s overall health and wellbeing? [20:00]
- Dentists work in a system where the main focus
is not on providing care. [25:05]
role of dental school in educating students and adjusting them to
the necessary changes within dentistry. [27:40]
Zeller’s opinion on The Higher Education Act. [30:05]
importance of federal funding in helping dental students pay for
differences in community involvement and education between a legacy
dentist and a first generation dentist. [37:03]
people don’t have access, their oral health is not addressed and
they turn to a diet of poor nutrition. [41:33]
is a food desert and how can it damage poor communities?
- Should dentists provide nutritional counseling
to their patients? [48:24]
does poverty and socioeconomics influence oral health?
individual’s income influences the level of oral health treatment
that he or she receives. [54:09]
is there a discrepancy between access to dental healthcare and
access to other types of healthcare? [57:18]
health is a neglected issue nationally and this is a big problem.
The mouth and the head and mental health and dental health somehow
remain outside of what people think of as general health.” -Julia
Paradise, Kaiser Family Foundation [59:33]
prevention methods improved within the dental community?
- Should there be more available alternatives
other than fluoride for patients? [1:03:40]
- Understanding and bypassing the bell curve in
regard to accepting new ideas. [1:07:50]
are people so afraid of change and how can we alter this mindset
within the dental community? [1:11:50]
- Finding common ground and respect between
younger dentists and the older dental generation.
influence of the baby boomer generation within dentistry as a
Nolan recognizes the importance of voicing one’s opinion and
experience in order to elicit change and bring awareness.
- Upcoming paradigm shifts within dentistry that
Dr. Zeller and Dr. Nolan’s generation should prepare for.
there a doctor versus access problem? Would a doctor compromise his
or her career choice by working with Medicaid?
is a case that Dr. Zeller has done that has changed the way that
she practices dentistry? [1:28:50]
Nolan’s closing thoughts and information on Dr. Zeller and her
podcast, Removing the Bite Block. [1:34:00]