Dr. McGlennen: How were you introduced to OralDNA® salivary diagnostics and why do you use the testing services?
Thomas Lewis, Ph.D.: I was introduced to OralDNA® labs testing services through a functional medicine physician who has been using your testing services for several years.
The why is simply because no one truly understands where they are on the oral health continuum. Many see bleeding gums when they brush or the occasional floss and think it is normal. I have been fortunate to have a mentor at Harvard, Dr. Trempe, who was an eye doctor with a major focus on neurodegenerative conditions. In over 40 years of research, he showed a very clear correlation between neurodegeneration and the severity of periodontal disease with just clinical observation. Our current practice follows these guidelines too and with OralDNA® Labs’ testing services, we now have the concrete knowledge of periodontal risk factors for our patients. With this information, we can concentrate on earlier detection and prevention.
Dr. McGlennen: What are the top things to consider when you select a patient for testing?
Thomas J. Lewis, Ph.D.: We ask a simple direct question: “Do you want a healthy longevity?” When the answer is “Yes,” and it most often is, then we continue: “If so then we should understand your oral health status and a simple saliva test will give us that information.” In my opinion, everyone should have a MyPerioPath® test, unless the patient is already actively resolving any periodontal problems.
In addition to testing, I encourage my participants to focus on oral home care. I parallel bleeding gums to weakening vessels and I will ask “Is it okay to have your vessels near your brain spontaneously bleed from time to time? Well then, let us get at the cause for this bleeding.”
Dr. McGlennen: What is your favorite part of the Alert 2™ results? Why?
Thomas J. Lewis, Ph.D.: The visual representation of the results is stellar. The patients can easily comprehend the severity of their condition and what it takes to be rectified. The clarity and detail of the report is a big bonus.
Dr. McGlennen: How do your patients respond to this technology? What is their #1 question?
Thomas J. Lewis, Ph.D.: At Health Revival Partners, patient education is key. We offer weekly educational seminars and other educational outreach programs on chronic diseases. We focus on a multifactorial approach to chronic disease. So, the patient understands there can be many causes, and periodontal disease is usually overlooked. Our teaching moments are not superficial, so we create what is called pull-through marketing. With this process, our patients, participants, and followers come to us asking for the OralDNA® test among other tests. The only real questions we get are “How quickly will we get our results?” This is another area where OralDNA® Labs shines; most are back within a week, if not sooner.
Dr. McGlennen: If a new OralDNA® provider were to ask you for advice, what would be your best tip?
Thomas J. Lewis, Ph.D.: I would highly recommend more medical doctors and non-dental practitioners offer OralDNA® Labs testing services. Be mindful of those in your area already providing these services and seek out these like-minded health care professionals. There may be an opportunity to co-manage patient care. I believe the best thing to do is to educate your patients. When you offer education, they will often buy more services, stay with you longer, and have more faith in your suggestions.