Empowering Patients: The Game-Changing Benefits of Alert 2™

While we’ve found the Alert 2™ test extremely useful for hygienists and dentists, in my experience I’ve found that ultimately the patient has the greatest benefit from the test results. Many patients may not fully grasp the impact of bacteria on their oral and systemic health or hold preconceived notions that may be at odds with their diagnosis. And while we can explain the role of bacteria and genetic influence on their diagnosis, the Alert 2 report from OralDNA® has been a game changer for us in our practice.

Previously, we engaged in lengthy explanations of periodontal disease’s origins, symptoms, complications, and maintenance during numerous appointments. In contrast, the Alert 2 report offers a concise, easily readable summary of findings. Moreover, it is highly specific, providing an individualized report of the patient’s genotype for IL-6, and detailed information about the presence and levels of bacterial strains.

In my experience, patients are increasingly interested in deepening their understanding of their oral and general health and providing the Alert 2 report is a great way to introduce patients to the idea of the Mouth Body Connection® and oral systemic link. Not only do the results speak for themselves, but it provides great information in exploring the link between oral conditions and systemic conditions, the role that bacteria and the oral microbiome plays in oral and overall health, and actionable steps that the patient can take to improve their health.

The Alert 2 test is also a great way to converse and engage patients with their oral health chairside as well. When the doctor or hygienist has the opportunity to sit with the patient and go over the results, it leads to a lot of great discussions with the patient and provides an opportunity for them to ask questions and be involved with their oral health. I appreciate this because it provides another opportunity to interact with patients on a level that is very personal and constructive and allows us to emphasize again the importance of oral health with their overall health and well-being.

Above all, I find the Alert 2 test to be profoundly empowering for patients. Instead of feeling resigned to the inevitability of periodontal disease, patients are equipped with knowledge. By understanding the types and quantity of bacteria in their oral cavity and their genetic predisposition toward an increased immune and inflammatory response, patients can take proactive measures to maintain better dental and systemic health, preventing the progression of periodontal disease and safeguarding their overall well-being. This paradigm shift has not only transformed our practice but has also had a profound impact on our patients’ lives.

Kee-ju Hong-Elder DDS
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