mid continent banner
baker headshot

​Karen Baker, BS, MS

Thursday, November ​14, 2019

  • The Impact of Alternative Medicine on Clinical Dentistry: Complimentary or Conflicting?
  • ​Your Patient is on Drugs! How to Navigate the Medication Minefield

The Impact of Alternative Medicine on Clinical Dentistry: Complimentary or Conflicting?

8:00 AM - 11:30 AM | 3 CDE
Educational Method: Lecture
Subject: Alternative Medicine
Recommended for: Entire Staff

Fee: Free, registration required
Event Code: T08


  • Buy and use a science-based herbal reference and recommend information sources for patients.
  • Describe valid medical uses for the top 20 systemic herbal medications.
  • Recognize the dental impact of common systemic herbal medications and dietary supplements.
  • Select specific herbal oral health products with reasonable claims and safe ingredients.
  • Discuss the effectiveness of herbal therapies and dietary supplements on gingivitis and periodontitis.

Are you recording medication histories that include resveratrol, curcumin, probiotics, gingko biloba, fish oil, elderberry, or milk thistle?  Do your patients ask you to recommend only "natural" oral health products?  The resurgence of herbal medicine has produced confusion and conflict among health care providers and patients alike.  Patients mistakenly equate the terms "natural" and "standardized" with safe and effective.  Many patients have embraced nontraditional medicine as a way to become "co-therapists" in their disease state management.  Dental professionals must avoid making negative generalizations about alternative therapies in order to stay involved in the therapeutic decision-making process.  During this program, we will discuss the herbal landscape which includes laws and regulations as well as the qualifications of naturopaths and herbalists.  A list of reliable science-based references will be included to provide ongoing clinical support for rational decisions related to herbal products.  The 20 most popular systemic herbs will be evaluated for dental impact including effect on bleeding, wound healing, intra-oral effects, and interactions with dental drugs.  We will also take a detailed look at herbal products promoted for treatment of oral diseases including gingivitis, periodontitis, aphthous stomatitis, and herpes simplex gingivostomatitis. We will conclude by discussing step-wise strategies for evaluating and managing patients taking herbal medications.  A practical and detailed handout will be provided to allow participants to apply this information to their practice.

Your Patient is on Drugs! How to Navigate the Medication Minefield

​1:00 ​PM - 4:30 PM | ​3 CDE
Educational Method: Lecture
Subject: Oral Medicine
Recommended for: Dentists, Hygienists, Assistants

Fee: Free, registration required
Event Code: T21


  • Recognize the specific dental treatment modifications necessary to prevent complications in patients with major cardiovascular or central nervous system disorders.Use the AAOS app for strategic decision-making with total joint replacement patients.
  • Modify dental treatment for patients on new chronic medications for diabetes, osteoporosis, and collagen vascular diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Identify the chronic medications likely to precipitate major interactions with dental antibiotics, analgesics, local anesthetics, and oral or parenteral anesthesia agents.

Dental patients are taking concurrent multiple medications in ever growing numbers. This phenomenon, called polypharmacy, is skyrocketing and creating new risks and problems in dental practices. The necessity for vigilance in identifying and documenting complete and current medications will be clearly discussed. Practical strategies for efficient management of medicated patients will be described and a detailed handout will enhance chair-side value.

About Karen Baker Professor Karen Baker has been on the Dental College faculty at the University of Iowa for 37 years, and occupies a unique role in dental practice and education. She is a clinical pharmacist with a Master’s degree in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics and is focused on patient-specific dental drug therapy.  She has given well over 1,000 invited programs nationally and internationally and holds memberships in many dental and clinical pharmacology and therapeutics organizations. Her dental education-based pharmacy and drug therapy consultation center is the only one in the United States. She has authored more than 50 articles and abstracts and lectures extensively in pre-doctoral and graduate courses at the University of Iowa. Financial Relationship - none reported