You may have noticed that the Ashland Dental Facebook and Instagram feeds have been filled with information about our upcoming CIMT Day event on Friday, February 25. What is CIMT and why is our team so thrilled to offer this service to our patients? CIMT refers to carotid intima-media thickness. A CIMT test is the measurement of the thickness of the inner arterial wall of the heart. It also detects inflammation and plaque lesions.
Thickening of the arterial wall can be an indication that there is an underlying issue within the heart that must be addressed. A CIMT test is a powerful tool that can detect heart problems before a patient even has any symptoms. Early detection is critical to reversing heart damage and creating an action plan for treatment and prevention of conditions associated with thickening of the heart such as a stroke or cardiac arrest. The CIMT test can detect 98.6% of heart attacks and strokes before they occur.
We are truly excited to offer this very special and potentially lifesaving service to our clients. At Ashland Dental, we stress the importance of total health because we truly care about the quality of life of our patients. We call it “bridging the gap between the oral and systemic connection.” While we certainly want to create beautiful smiles, we believe that there is more to dental care than appearance. As a dental care team, we have a unique opportunity that no other medical discipline has to leverage our expertise with the gateway to your body — the mouth — to help improve outcomes in other areas of the body.
Why is my dentist interested in my heart health?
Cardiac wellness is not necessarily a concern you expect to be addressed at the dentist’s office. However, it is important to the longevity and happiness of our patients. That means that it is important to us. Your oral health has a direct impact on the health of your body. For example, studies have shown that there is a link between issues like gum disease and heart health, as well as gum health and pregnancy complications, high blood pressure, and stroke. There is also a link between oral health and diabetes complications.
We do not just want to help our patients have beautiful smiles, we also want them to have a reason to use them. We ensure that we do our part to improve quality of life wherever we can. Our office is fortunate enough to see patients at least once per year, often more for routine cleanings and minor procedures. Each visit is an opportunity for our team to use our expertise to help our patients thrive. That is why we work constantly to provide advanced services to our patients to improve not just their oral health, but that of the rest of the body.
What can I expect during a CIMT Test?
A CIMT test works through the use of sound waves. It is non-invasive and completely safe. There is no preparation or recovery period required to undergo the test. Patients do not have to disrobe during testing, as the procedure is performed quickly and easily in the office in under 15 minutes. Additionally, it is performed by a physician. At Ashland Dental, we are fortunate enough to have cardiologist Dr. Eric Golder and the team at Cardiorisk Laboratories here in our offices to conduct testing on our patients. This means that your test will be conducted by a doctor and cardiac experts with a deep knowledge of heart health who can help you determine the next steps after you receive your results.
The process is simple and gentle. First, a gel is applied to the patient’s neck. If you have ever had a sonogram to monitor your body for internal issues or to monitor a pregnancy, you will be familiar with the gel. For those who are unfamiliar, it is an easy-to-remove substance meant to help the transducer work effectively. A transducer is a small device that emits safe sound waves into your body. Those waves “bounce” off of your body’s carotid arteries. The waves that bounce back are picked up by the same transducer and fed into a computer. The computer then translates those signals into data that assists doctors in determining your heart health.
As noted above, the test takes less than 15 minutes to perform and requires little to no effort on the part of the patient. You’ll be able to sit back and relax as our care team assesses your heart health and provides you with the information you need to take the next steps in your heart health. Check out this brief explainer video for more information on why we think this test is so important.
The team at Ashland Dental is looking forward to helping you become heart-aware and heart-healthy. Fifty percent of men and 64% of women who suffer a fatal heart attack had no prior symptoms that indicated they even had a heart condition! With CIMT, you will be empowered with the most up-to-date knowledge about your heart health so you can make important changes to help you live a long and healthy life with your friends and loved ones.
Make an appointment for your CIMT test today! The cost of the test is just $199 and can be performed in under 15 minutes. Give us a call at (708) 755-1333 or contact us here. We would love to help you!