A Progressive Oral Wellness Center in Rural America

In our rural practice (McCreight Progressive Dentistry) in Northwest Colorado, we see periodontal disease on average in about one of every two patients, or around 46%. This is representative of the CDC statistic as posted in the May 2015 Journal of Periodontology. Whenever we read these statistics, we are puzzled. In an industrialized nation where home care tools and dental technologies are readily available, how can there be so much disease? Here are some measures (newer technologies) we ha...
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Communication is Key

Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent chronic inflammatory diseases in the United States and it is a key indicator of other systemic diseases.  Dentistry has a significant role in reducing the impact of chronic disease in patients who trust their dental teams to guide them to total body health.  From the first call and through every step of the patient experience, such as reviewing the medical history, the conversation should include the oral systemic connection. Dental teams a...
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Root Canal Therapy

“News flash! All root canal-treated teeth are infected!” If you are a licensed dentist or endodontist, that statement is likely to strike a nerve. Without question, our scientific understanding of bacterial infectious diseases in the oral microbiome has progressed more than ever in recent years. Testing services such as OralDNA® Labs, aid us by analyzing the pathogens living in the oral environment: I would call it a modern wonder. With so much progress in oral health care, it would stand to...
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Captain Your Ship and Business

In the forty-five years that I have been in dentistry, we have been directly hit by some unique storms such as Hepatitis B in the 70’s, inflation rates of 18% in the 80’s, AIDS/HIV 80’s-90’s, Gulf War 1990, 9/11 of 2001, SARS ’02, the Great Recession ’08-09, H1N1 ’09, MERS ’12, and now COVID-19 in 2020. This is not our first American storm; this is more like a tsunami/hurricane/and flood all rolled into a tiny 0.12-micron virus. It is a public health and an economic crisis combination. I pur...
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Critical Thinking: The Systemic Antibiotic Option

The MyPerioPath® test provides a wide variety of valuable information for the clinician to consider in the care of their patients. In one example, the Treatment Consideration section of the report provides a recommendation for a regimen of oral antibiotics when the test results show bacteria levels greater than the black lines, called the therapeutic threshold.  Where did this recommendation come from?  This choice of drug, along with the recommended doses, are based on published research of...
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Side Effects Support LLC

As I started my first job in dentistry, my mother received a breast cancer diagnosis and suffered horribly with oral side effects from chemotherapy. Her pain from severe dry mouth and mouth sores (oral mucositis) was dismissed by her oncology team as “just part of treatments.” She received no guidance on how to prevent or reduce her discomfort and there were no oral care strategies implemented to prevent long-term damage to her dental health. Through questioning other cancer survivors, I le...
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Salivary Diagnostics for Gum Disease and Oral Cancer Risk Assessment

Clinical laboratory testing is a common practice for the medical professional. DNA testing, including genetic testing, has led to healthier patients. Cross over to dentistry, and let’s review 2 examples of what’s available. Presently, in my office, we perform MyPerioID® IL-6, a test for the genetic marker interleukin 6 (IL-6) to screen for genetic risk of periodontal disease and a viral DNA test for the human papilloma virus (HPV) to screen for risk of oral cancer.  The collection is relativ...
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AAP Classifications Simplified: Part 2

Last week, establishing a stage for your patient was highlighted. Click HERE to review. Once you have established the stage of your patient, the grade needs to be determined. The three grades are A, B or C. The grade indicates the speed of progression and the quality of treatment response. In order to establish the grade, there are 3 factors to consider: Direct evidence – Evidence of bone loss over the past 5 years. (You may not have access to previous records, but this highlights the v...
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AAP Classifications Simplified: Part 1

How the heck are we supposed to implement the new American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) Staging and Grading Periodontitis classifications into practice?  This new system seems so complicated, right??  Actually, it can be simplified and once that is done, the new system is extremely valuable!  As hygienists, we know that periodontal disease is multifactorial.  It is affected by systemic health, habits, occlusion, and more.  We know that it is just as much about the host response as it is abo...
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Interview with Brooke Armour, RDH

Dr McGlennen: Tell me how you use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics. Brooke RDH: I use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics to test new patients, patients that have clinical signs of periodontal disease, or patients with a complex medical history. Dr McGlennen: What are the biggest benefits to using salivary diagnostics? Brooke RDH: The benefits of salivary diagnostics are being able to quantify periodontal disease, having something to physically show the patient about their periodontal diseas...
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