Dr. McGlennen: You started using OralDNA® Labs testing services in December of 2016. How were you introduced to OralDNA® salivary diagnostics?
Brenda Nishimura DDS: We learned about OralDNA® Labs and salivary testing from Doug Thompson at the Wellness Dentistry Network, which we have been a member of since its inception.
Dr. McGlennen: You utilize MyPerioPath® and OraRisk® Candida on a consistent basis for your patient care. What distinguishes a patient for MyPerioPath® testing? How does OraRisk® Candida factor into your patient care?
Brenda Nishimura DDS: We use MyPerioPath® and OraRisk® Candida testing for most patients that need periodontal treatment. The results allow us to personalize treatment. For example, if a patient has high risk pathogens above the reference lines and is negative for Candida, we will give those patients a course of antibiotics when doing our non-surgical periodontal therapy treatment. However, if the results show a lower level of high-risk pathogens and a positive result for Candida, we will not give antibiotics. We would also investigate probable causes for the positive Candida test, such as nasal and airway issues, GI disturbances, or other contributory systemic illnesses. We are fortunate to work collaboratively with a primary care physician, ear, nose & throat specialists, airway orthodontists, holistic nutritionists, functional medicine physicians, and more, to help treat each patient beyond the mouth.
Dr. McGlennen: What are the biggest benefits to using salivary diagnostics?
Brenda Nishimura DDS: The biggest benefit to using salivary diagnostics is the ability to tailor our treatment recommendations so they are the most appropriate for each patient.
Dr. McGlennen: How do your patients respond to this technology? What is their #1 question?
Brenda Nishimura DDS: The patient’s #1 question is “How much does it cost?”
Dr. McGlennen: What is your biggest challenge? What measures have you taken to overcome this obstacle?
Brenda Nishimura DDS: We educate our patients so they understand that the lab results will help determine what specific bacteria are present, so a targeted and personalized treatment is applied for each patient. We have sample tests to show patients and we give educational brochures. In addition, we give an information sheet on the Mouth Health Connection. Once the patient understands the benefits of personalized periodontal treatment, they are usually fine with the costs.
Dr. McGlennen: If a new OralDNA® provider were to ask you for advice, what would be your best tip?
Brenda Nishimura DDS: Education of the dental team is crucial. The entire staff must understand the benefits of personalized periodontal treatment through testing. Guessing is no longer acceptable. OralDNA® Labs offers training via interactive webinars. We have spent numerous staff meetings with OralDNA® and Wellness Dentistry Network.
Dr. McGlennen: Where do you see salivary diagnostics in 3-5 years? 10 years? What would be the impact on your practice/patients?
Brenda Nishimura DDS: In the future, I see salivary diagnostics becoming as routine as taking a full mouth set of x-rays. As technology advances, there will be even more information available to us, such as identifying antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.