Dr. McGlennen: Please tell me how you use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics in your practice.
Searcy Dental team: We use salivary diagnostics as standard protocol in our periodontal therapy program, especially MyPerioPath®. These results help us, and patients, understand exactly which pathogens are present and at what levels. When a patient has responded to our applied therapy, we are able to measure the amazing results by post treatment testing.
Dr. McGlennen: What are the top two things you consider when selecting a patient for testing?
Searcy Dental team: Inflammation is no good anywhere in our bodies. So, we consider the amount of inflammation present in the oral tissues and the patient’s risk factors for disease, periodontally and in some cases overall health.
Dr. McGlennen: What do you see as the biggest benefits to using salivary diagnostics in your practice?
Searcy Dental team: Testing doesn’t mean the patient will respond and heal from our therapy. We are going to perform therapy with or without the testing; however, with the test results we can see what we can’t see with our eyes. The results help us target the treatment plan and post treatment test results help us understand what is next for the patient.
Dr. McGlennen: What is your favorite part of the MyPerioPath® lab results report? Why?
Searcy Dental team: It is right there in black and white, or should we say beautiful colors, we love the great visual aid for the patient. It also takes the guesswork out of prescribing antibiotics.
Dr. McGlennen: How do your patients respond to this technology?
Searcy Dental team: Our patients are very impressed with the report and can see the importance of therapy because of the links to systemic disease. They have a concrete understanding to own their disease and seriousness of controlling the disease.
Dr. McGlennen: What is your biggest challenge? How do you overcome that obstacle?
Searcy Dental team: Unlike the medical clinics, which use lab tests all the time, lab testing is still new to dentistry, so patients question the importance of testing prior to treatment. We can overcome this obstacle, through patient education. Once they are tested, when we approach them again about testing, there isn’t a question.
Dr. McGlennen: If a new OralDNA® provider were to ask you for advice, what would be your best tip?
Searcy Dental team: Try to make salivary testing a standard in your periodontal program rather than just choosing the worst cases. It makes such a difference in your outcomes and helps patients in early stages of gum disease arrest it there, avoiding further bone deterioration.
Dr. McGlennen: Where do you see salivary diagnostics in 3-5 years? 10 years? What would be the impact on your practice/patients?
Searcy Dental team: We believe salivary diagnostics will be the standard in periodontal programs in most offices in 3-5 years. In 10 years, it will probably be used more for oral pathology. A definitive diagnosis allows you to treat patients more effectively. The outcomes are extremely valuable to the practice and the patient.