One of the insights gained when using salivary testing is finding that good point to stop treatment. This therapeutic endpoint may be defined by the return to gingival health, reduction of pocket depth, and a stable clinical attachment level. In other words, the therapeutic endpoint tells us when we have done all we can do for the time, and let the remaining healing occur unassisted. With the easy availability of post-op bacterial testing, the therapeutic endpoint can now be expanded to include the post-treatment bacterial levels.
There will be cases in which favorable clinical treatment outcomes are achieved and post-op bacterial levels are considerably reduced; thus the therapeutic endpoint has been reached. If the clinical outcome is favorable and the bacterial levels do not reduce significantly, or the bacterial species revealed in the report have shifted, this also provides clinically impactful information. Shifts and unexpected responses to the bacterial load are indicators of potentially refractory disease, which will influence needed monitoring and maintenance intervals.
We are not treating bar graphs as noted on the test report, but using the information to make better clinical decisions for our patients.
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