John Craig, MD, of the Henry Ford Health System is leading an international research effort to improve multidisciplinary collaboration between otolaryngologists and dental providers around the world in diagnosing odontogenic sinusitis (ODS).
ODS is an infectious condition of the paranasal sinuses that can occur from dental infection or dental procedures involving the upper jaw. There are multiple ways that infection can spread from the teeth to the sinuses and, in more severe scenarios, to the eye, brain, or rest of the body. Various physicians often needed to manage ODS frequently miss the diagnosis.
An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeon, Craig recently led an international consensus statement for diagnosing ODS in conjunction with Dr. Alberto Saibene of the University of Milan and 15 other authors from around the world.
The consensus statement was published in the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. Its 17 authors included otolaryngologists and dental specialists from the United States, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, France, Israel, Japan, and Turkey who were specifically selected for their expertise in ODS.
According to Craig, “what makes this medical consensus innovative and different is the international collaboration between rhinologists (sinus surgeons) and dental specialists (endodontists and oral surgeons) to achieve consensus on diagnosing ODS.”
Also, he said, the “multidisciplinary nature was critical to highlight the importance of collaboration between ENT and dental providers to diagnose this condition.”
Craig has researchers ODS for the past five years and has published nearly a dozen studies on various aspects of ODS in the last two years. He now is spearheading an international effort to help inform the medical and dental communities.
“I had published studies on diagnostic features of ODS, but it takes a long time for individual studies to gain traction with clinicians,” said Craig.
“Dr. Saibene and Dr. Giovanni Felisati, from the University of Milan, had also been publishing on ODS in recent years, and they reached out to me. We clearly shared similar goals of increasing international awareness of this unrecognized condition,” said Craig.
“We knew that one of the biggest hurdles to progress in this field was the lack of diagnostic criteria in our international sinusitis guidelines, which limits both research efforts and clinical care,” he added.
“It has been an honor working with such an amazing group of scientists, all who share a common passion for increasing awareness of ODS,” said Craig.
Craig hopes the published international consensus statement will bring more peer attention to ODS globally and that diagnosis and management can be included more thoroughly in future iterations of national and international sinusitis guidelines.
Also, Craig hopes this information can be disseminated to all dental specialties through their respective guidelines as well. Improving awareness among otolaryngologists and dental specialists will hopefully improve collaboration between the fields to diagnose the condition, Henry Ford said.
“In addition to increasing awareness internationally, it is of the utmost importance to implement our research findings on a local and regional level. To this end, we will continue to optimize care for these patients at Henry Ford and spread the word to our medical and dental communities in metro Detroit and Michigan,” Craig said.
“If you don’t look for ODS, you’ll often miss it,” he added. “If you start looking for it, you’ll be amazed by how many patients you help.”