How Do You Speak Testing? With Yemia White RDH

Patient Bio: Your new male patient, age 45, presents with the below findings. He has smoked 1 pack per day for the past 25 years. Upon medical history review you discover his blood pressure and cholesterol are being controlled by medication. He confides that his father passed away at age 53.

How would you introduce therapy including MyPerioPath® to this patient?
Mr. Smith, thank you for allowing us to collect pertinent information for your comprehensive oral health assessment. May I have your permission to discuss the findings? Beginning with your medical history, I see you’re under a doctor’s care for hypertension and high cholesterol and currently, they’re being treated with medication. Has your doctor mentioned smoking can exacerbate those conditions? Additionally, smoking is a risk factor for periodontal disease. Do you have any family history of heart disease or stroke? You reported that your father passed away at 53 years young. May I ask about his medical history? Next, let’s review your clinical findings. The x-rays, periodontal evaluation, and intra-oral photos, indicate the presence of active periodontal disease. Because there is a correlation between periodontal infection and your systemic health, it is critical to determine the type of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Thankfully, we can accomplish that with an easy salivary test. Once I receive the results, we can formulate a plan for therapy, and work together to prevent further harm. I simply collect a specimen of your saliva and send it to our trusted lab, OralDNA. How does that sound to you? Do you have any questions for me?

The patient returns to begin therapy. How would you discuss these results with your patient?
Welcome back Mr. Smith. I have your salivary diagnostic results. Is it okay if we review them together? The test checks for 11 pathogenic bacteria associated with oral/systemic health links. It categorizes them by risk: high, moderate, and low. The lab results indicate that 8 out of 11 harmful bacteria were detected. 7 of them have exceeded capacity and taken over the health of your mouth. This is concerning because some of the pathogens are implicated in arterial plaque buildup and high cholesterol. They both can lead to a heart attack. Additionally, some of the bacteria are correlated with cognitive decline and arthritis. Mr. Smith you’re young and we want you to live a long, healthy life. With periodontal therapy, medication, some behavior modifications, and ongoing maintenance we can help you do that. I’m willing to work together, are you? Then, let’s get started.

Your patient presents following a healing period and is retested. Here are the results. How would you discuss these results with your patient?
Hello Mr. Smith. I have the lab results from your salivary diagnostic retest. May I review them with you? When I saw you for your follow up appointment you looked great. You had decreased pocket depths, no plaque, and no bleeding. The lab results indicate that by working together, we were successful in stabilizing your oral health. The pathogens were greatly reduced, and some were undetected. I’m confident that the results will positively affect your systemic health. Now, research shows that oral biofilm forms in 24 hours and the destructive pathogens can cause harm around 12 weeks. Therefore, we recommend 90-day biofilm disruption therapy in our office, and twice daily effective plaque removal by you. This will help mitigate disease progression. Will that work with your schedule? We are so proud of you and look forward to seeing you in 3 months. Do you have any questions?

Yemia White BSDH RDH
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