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† A. Detecting A Stroke At The Dentist

Narrator: This is Science Today. People at high risk for having a stroke, can now find out if theyíre in danger while sitting in the dentistís chair. Dr. Arthur Friedlander of UCLAís School of Dentistry has discovered that the panoramic dental x-rays many dentists use, which feature part of the neck, may contain visual hints of atherosclerosis.

Friedlander: Not infrequently, in high risk patients, those in their fifties, sixties and above, with high blood pressure and a history of smoking may, on their dental x-rays, have areas that appear white.

Narrator: These white areas are frequently plaque which if broken off can float up towards the brain blocking oxygen and cause a stroke. If such areas come up on a standard x-ray, Friedlander says dentists should take action...

Friedlander: Once having identified these lesions, itís incumbent upon the dentist to refer the patient back to their family physician for confirmation of the diagnosis and for management of the disorder.

Narrator: For Science Today, Iím Larissa Branin.