As with most dental practices we have a soft tissue program in place to help treat periodontal disease as well as gingivitis. We use the traditional x-rays and periodontal probing exams that allow us to assess periodontal damage that has already occurred within the soft tissues and bone. We have also implemented a new type of exam that can show us bacteria that is present in the gum tissues.
Our team recently received training on the use of a microscope and Dr. Hawkins decided to purchase one for the team. Our new soft tissue program includes making a slide for every adult at every hygiene appointment. The technique is simple, a patient’s plaque sample is placed on a slide, and the microscope and monitor allow for the magnification. On the slide, the microorganism activity gets the attention of the patient. We are identifying white blood cells and spirochete(s) to emphasize the infection.
We also collect a saliva sample for a MyPerioPath® test to identify the type and quantity of bacteria present. The plaque sample as well as MyPerioPath® saliva test allows us to evaluate for harmful bacteria that can need treatment now or may lead to future damage. With the microscope and lab report information, we tailor a treatment protocol for each individual patient. Individualized treatment helps target the specific bacteria to stop the disease process as well as prevents future damage that can be done to the soft tissues and bone.
Our patients are very open to the two new diagnostic tools – the microscope and MyPerioPath® testing. Most people are surprised by what they see on the microscope slide. Patients also appreciate the MyPerioPath® lab report that identifies the bacteria and offers specific treatment suggestions such as a systemic antibiotic to augment the periodontal treatment. I have observed better treatment outcomes since we have implemented both the microscope and MyPerioPath® testing.
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- Soft Tissue Program with a Microscope & MyPerioPath® - February 28, 2020