Words of Wisdom from Lee Sheldon DDS

Every patient is different. Overcoming a patient’s obstacles to treatment may take some finesse. The diagnosis and treatment plan are typically the easier task. In this series, Words of Wisdom, we have asked the experts from our Protocol Directory “How would you help your patient overcome their obstacle(s)?”

Patient: “But it doesn’t hurt!”

Dr. Lee Sheldon: Helping the patient see what might be harming them even though it doesn’t hurt them can be more easily achieved by using a phase contrast microscope. The direct sampling of the patient’s plaque to a slide provides a concrete image that patients can’t ignore. It becomes real. OralDNA® Labs’ MyPerioPath® is the next step necessary to understand the specifics of the microbiology on the slide. Refusal of testing is uncommon. A simple phrase I use is “We’ll need to identify those bacteria so that we know if we need an antibiotic and what the best antibiotic might be.”

For those who don’t have a microscope, intraoral pictures also prove useful to help make the disease real. Here is a phrase I would use: “It feels as if this may be an aggressive disease. I’d like to send a sample of your saliva out to the lab so that we can identify the bacteria in your mouth.”

For more Words of Wisdom from Dr. Lee Sheldon, visit The Institute for Dental Specialists page of our Protocol Directory.

Lee Sheldon DMD PA
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