Glucocorticoids, or corticosteroids, are a class of steroid hormones that are characterized by an ability to bind with the glucocorticoid receptor. In dentistry, their main therapeutic use is as an anti-inflammatory agent and immunosuppressant. Some of the more commonly used glucocorticoids include betamethasone, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone, and triamcinolone. Glucocorticoids can be used for or following a variety of dental procedures such as endodontics for root resorption, oral surgeries to reduce edema and to aid in the prevention of ulcerations and excoriation, and the treatment of oral submucosa fibrosis and oral lichen planus. The use of glucocorticoids can reduce patient discomfort, lessen the time required for healing, aid in the healing process, and aid in the prevention of post-operative issues. The type of steroid used will depend upon the patient’s medical history, prior use of glucocorticoids, type of dental procedure, and the symptom or symptoms that need relieving.
Glycosylated hemoglobin A1c test (HbA1c test)
The glycosylated hemoglobin A1c test, also known as the HbA1c or glycated hemoglobin A1c test, is a type of lab test which reveals the average plasma glucose concentration over a period of three months. Specifically, it measures the number of glucose molecules attached to hemoglobin. Results are expressed as a percentage, with 4% to 6% considered to be normal. This test provides information regarding a patient’s possible risk of developing diabetes. By measuring the percentage of sugar-coated hemoglobin, a practitioner can determine a patient’s level of blood sugar control. Higher percentages of sugar-coated hemoglobin typically indicate a higher risk of developing diabetes. Tests such as these may be required prior to dental surgery as they provide insight into health conditions that could possibly hinder the healing process post-surgery. Patients shown to have higher A1c levels may first be required to address their blood sugar levels prior to having a procedure.