Interview with Chelsea Gonzales, DDS

Dr McGlennen: Tell me how you use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics. Dr Gonzales: We use OralDNA® to create a customized plan for treating our patient’s periodontal disease. We also use it to gauge the success of their periodontal treatment and revised home care regimens. Salivary diagnostics enables us to treat the patient’s whole health by tying their periodontal condition to their medical history and treating the specific bacteria that could be contributing to multiple health conditions. ...
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I Don’t Need That, We’re Already Getting Good Results

The enemy of optimal patient care is complacency. Why would anyone settle for good results when optimal results are so easily achieved? Put yourself in your patient’s place in the exam chair: would you then want only good enough? Patients trust their dental professionals to provide the voice in decision regarding their care. If given the choice between practicing blindly, with no information about the specific bacterial cause of their individual case of periodontal disease, and having the ba...
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Drug Allergy vs. Drug Intolerance

A mark of a great diagnostician is one who can avoid complications through a process of taking an expert medical history. One area of practice where taking a history is critical, if not life saving, is documenting the potential of side effects from prescribed medications, in particular antibiotics. Patients are quick to state, “I’m allergic to that medication”. But what do they mean by that? Allergies are not the same as drug sensitivity or intolerance, and the earnest clinician needs to fig...
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Caries Risk Assessment Duo: The Canary System® and OraRisk® Caries

In the past, controlling or treating dental caries meant restoring all areas of decay. After which, the patient was believed to be “caries controlled” until something new developed.  We now know that this thinking is flawed.  Filling or restoring caries does not treat the disease, only its effects on the tooth.  In 2001, the National Institute of Health defined caries as a disease resulting in the destruction of tooth structure by acid forming bacteria found in dental plaque in the presence ...
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“New Hat” for the RDH— Oral Systemic Health Educator & Certified Lifestyle Coach

Why would the Complete Health Registered Dental Hygiene team find themselves in inter-professional collaboration with the Certified Lifestyle Coach? The answer begins with understanding that the war raging inside of us is between chronic inflammation and the body’s own host response. We’re not aware of this war because it doesn’t hurt, and we can’t see its effects since it’s going on at a cellular, even a molecular level. The mouth happens to be a major battleground in this war. Unlike a ...
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Patient Communication is Essential for Patient Acceptance

As a dental hygienist in Minnesota, I complete a professional portfolio to maintain my license. One of the core competencies is Patient Communication. As healthcare professionals we guide patients to better health through communicating therapy needs, providing the latest education and motivating patient self-care. Salivary diagnostics allows the clinician to have an objective measurement provided by a credentialed clinical laboratory. However, before the clinician and patient can benefit fro...
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“Test – and Retest – for Clinical Success”

Periodontal disease affects over half of the population and expresses itself differently in different people. It is a highly personalized disease. It is initiated by bacteria, yeast, and viruses that live in a layer on the teeth we refer to as biofilm. It is this biofilm that stimulates a unique host response. INDIVIDUAL HOST RESPONSE Each individual’s host response is dictated by combining their genetics with their acquired risk factors. Acquired risk factors are things that they can ...
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Interview with Tonja Willey RDH, MS–Dental Hygiene Instructor

Dr McGlennen: Tell me how your students use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics. Tonja Willey RDH, MS: Our students’ select one patient with moderate to severe periodontitis for a special program called Senior Capstone project; Perio Project. The goal of this project is to have the student follow one patient from the New Patient Consultation through all the steps of therapy in hopes of improving health or finding a more stable condition. The program fee ($175) includes several types of tests in...
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Dental Hygiene Excellence: A Personalized Treatment Approach

Personalized care for dental patients is more important today than ever! Oral inflammation has been established as the driver for many systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent inflammatory diseases and does not always respond well to “cookie cutter” treatment. We now know, treatment must target the bacteria that cause the patient’s infection, and every patient is different. Dental Hygiene Exc...
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Sick & Tired of Patients Being … Sick & Tired?

Me too! Day after day, patients dismiss their oral health, writing it off as “My gums have always bled.” Inside, my head was exploding, but outside my heart was opened. I knew that I had a chance to educate my patients to a whole new level of health. One where their energy would be boosted, risk to coronary heart disease would be lowered, and the chance of them developing diabetes would be significantly reduced. I became a hygienist on a mission. I instinctively knew that if things were t...
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