When health care professionals finish their schooling, they take a professional oath before beginning the practice of their chosen field. The words in each oath may be different, but the premise is the same. For example, in the dental hygiene oath, there is a pledge to continually improve my professional knowledge and skills and to uphold the highest standards.
I worked in private practice dental hygiene for 7 years and through continuing education seminars, I realized I was not stepping up to my oath. Hence, I began incorporating salivary diagnostic testing into my periodontal protocol. As a clinical specialist at OralDNA® Labs, a common question, I hear is “Where do I start?” or more specifically “What patients do I want to test with which test?” The following paragraphs will highlight two options of several avenues for where to begin offering OralDNA® Labs testing.
Active Periodontal Disease
Patients with active disease, bleeding pockets of 4-5+ mm are obvious patients to test first. If you are actively involving them in their diagnosis with intraoral pictures and/or audible clues (reading the pockets aloud), then you can very easily say, “I need to know the cause of this bleeding and a simple saliva test may give us an answer.” Most patients want to know the cause too. A MyPerioPath® test is a minimum pre-test utilized to help the active periodontal patient. When more information is needed about the patient’s inflammation risk, then order Alert 2™ which includes MyPerioPath® and MyPerioID® IL-6 or for the most comprehensive panel order MyPerioPath® and Celsus One™. Following the periodontal treatment 6-12 weeks, a post-treatment MyPerioPath® test is performed to determine the efficacy of treatment and the next steps for patient care.
Implant Placement/Maintenance/Full Mouth Reconstruction
Implant placement and full mouth reconstruction are surgical procedures. Parallel these procedures to our medical counterparts doing knee/hip/valve replacements, where the pre-surgical workup a patient performs before these surgeries can be numerous and often mandatory. They are performed to reduce the risk of negative outcomes of the surgery. Consider salivary testing your pre-surgical workup to enhance surgical results and helping the patient protect their investment of the implant or full mouth reconstruction. You might say, “Let’s make sure your doctor, the dentist, is working in an uninfected field. Let’s test today to protect your investment.”
These are two options of several to help you begin testing. For further insight, contact OralDNA® Client Services and set up a training webinar, or visit the Protocol Directory.