Do You Speak HPV? Part 3

In my previous blog, I explored three common positive responses I’ve encountered from patients when offering a test for oral HPV and how I would respond to them.  In this blog, I will address some of the objections from patients and how I would further educate the patient about oral HPV and testing options. Patient 1: I don’t think I need that test.  I’ve never been exposed. Response 1: I understand but in case you’re ever curious, remember we have this potentially life-saving service ...
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Do You Speak HPV? Part 2

Dental clinicians have been on the front lines of oral cancer prevention and early detection for many years. We have been trained to do very thorough oral cancer exams and to use various light systems to visualize tissue changes; however, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the death rate for oral cancers has remained higher than that of many other types of cancers which we hear about routinely.1 Many studies support that the human papilloma virus (HPV) is responsible for a large number...
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Do You Speak HPV? Part 1

Dental professionals are often uncomfortable approaching patients on topics that are unfamiliar or that feel outside the realm of “traditional” dentistry.  One such topic is Human papillomavirus (HPV).  As a hygienist of 40 plus years, I can tell you this topic never came up in my education.  Several years ago, I had to educate myself about this near epidemic viral infection. Most importantly, I had to step out of my comfort zone to find a way to share this crucial knowledge with my patients...
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Rethinking the Dental Examination

It’s 2018 and I am dumbfounded by the number of adult new patient appointments that begin in the hygiene chair. We all recognize this is an ‘old school’ practice, but maybe we still secretly believe it’s the right thing to do for our patient. Maybe we somehow believe it’s financially beneficial to the practice. Neither of these could be further from the truth. The dental examination of today is all about the patient of today. From a health standpoint, the patient of today is more complica...
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Oral HPV Awareness Campaign: Part 2

Currently about 72% of all OPCs (Oropharyngeal Cancers) are the results of an oncogenic HPV infection—and very few of these cancers are found in the front of the mouth. HPV-Oral Pharyngeal Cancer (HPV-OPC) develops at the deep base of the tongue or behind of the curtains of the tonsillar pillars. Sadly, there is no effective screening method for early cancer detection. While we fumble with the words to say and the warnings to issue, we are literally watching the HPV epidemic unfold before...
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Oral HPV Awareness Campaign: Part 1

As a Total Health Dental Practice, there was one particular oral disease my team was not comfortable discussing—even though it is deadly and its epidemic has escalated to horrific proportions. You guessed it…HPV-related Oral Pharyngeal Cancer (OPC). Don’t get me wrong; our responsibility to complete our 9-point screen for oral cancer is routinely completed. But we knew the screening exam—was completely ineffective in screening for the risk of HPV-OPC. In brainstorming about our weakness, ...
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Where Does the HPV Go?

The alarming incidence of oral cancer connected to oral infections caused by the human papillomavirus, HPV, should rightly raise concern.  For too long healthcare has overlooked the potential of HPV to cause serious disease in the oral cavity, the pharynx and larynx.  Fortunately, early detection is key, and there is now a highly sensitive test that can identify early HPV infections called OraRisk ® HPV.  OraRisk ® HPV identifies the HPV infection often before any clinical symptoms can be se...
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The Co-management of an Esophageal Cancer Survivor

  Background: The patient is a 75-year-old female with a history of esophageal cancer in 2013. The origin of the cancer was determined to be lichen planus. Surgical removal of the lesion occurred and no reconstructive surgery was needed. However, post-surgery to present date, the patient experiences severe acid reflux and sleeps with her head elevated. She has great home dental care and follows a 3-month periodontal maintenance. During the head and neck exam, no significant findings ...
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What’s the difference between the two OraRisk® HPV testing options offered by OralDNA® Labs?

One of the most commonly asked questions from patients and providers alike is  – “What’s the difference between the two OraRisk® HPV tests you offer?”  Simply answered: the main difference is the total number of HPV types tested. The OraRisk® HPV Complete Genotyping test option will analyze the oral rinse specimen for 51 different types of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), including high risk, low risk and unknown risk types. If the sample is positive for the presence of HPV, it will then ...
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Advancing Patient Care Through the Use of OraRisk® HPV Salivary Testing: An Interview with Camille Luke

Dr McGlennen: Tell me how and why you utilize OralDNA® salivary diagnostics. Camille RDH: Currently we use the OraRisk® HPV test in 5 different dental practices.  Our team members use this test as part of our oral cancer screening process.  At a continuing education course, we were introduced to the correlation between HPV and oral cancer, and felt this would be an important service to provide for our patients, especially with the increased risk of developing oral cancer associated with a...
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