Doctor-Patient Communication: Basic Expectations and Principles

«The patient will never care how much you know until they know how much you care. » - S.Terry Canale, MD Compassionate and effective doctor-patient communication is a key factor influencing therapeutic relationships. Today’s doctors face numerous challenges that impede patient-doctor relationships. For example, they must maintain clinical productivity while effectively treating their patients. Can they afford less time with each patient while doing so? Effective doctor-patient commu...
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3 Pillars of Protection in the COVID 19 Pandemic

Flashback: Friday the 13th of March 2020, COVID-19 is sweeping the globe – sickness, death, and economic destruction in its pathway. Educated and concerned dental professionals are stopped in their tracks with little scientific guidance as to how COVID-19 will impact the industry. Anxiously, we wait. The media bombards us with horrific accounts of how the virus has perplexed and overwhelmed the medical community. Fear-ridden, we wait. Dentistry is flooded with webinars, best practice protoco...
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Communication is Key

Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent chronic inflammatory diseases in the United States and it is a key indicator of other systemic diseases.  Dentistry has a significant role in reducing the impact of chronic disease in patients who trust their dental teams to guide them to total body health.  From the first call and through every step of the patient experience, such as reviewing the medical history, the conversation should include the oral systemic connection. Dental teams a...
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Side Effects Support LLC

As I started my first job in dentistry, my mother received a breast cancer diagnosis and suffered horribly with oral side effects from chemotherapy. Her pain from severe dry mouth and mouth sores (oral mucositis) was dismissed by her oncology team as “just part of treatments.” She received no guidance on how to prevent or reduce her discomfort and there were no oral care strategies implemented to prevent long-term damage to her dental health. Through questioning other cancer survivors, I le...
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Salivary Diagnostics for Gum Disease and Oral Cancer Risk Assessment

Clinical laboratory testing is a common practice for the medical professional. DNA testing, including genetic testing, has led to healthier patients. Cross over to dentistry, and let’s review 2 examples of what’s available. Presently, in my office, we perform MyPerioID® IL-6, a test for the genetic marker interleukin 6 (IL-6) to screen for genetic risk of periodontal disease and a viral DNA test for the human papilloma virus (HPV) to screen for risk of oral cancer.  The collection is relativ...
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AAP Classifications Simplified: Part 2

Last week, establishing a stage for your patient was highlighted. Click HERE to review. Once you have established the stage of your patient, the grade needs to be determined. The three grades are A, B or C. The grade indicates the speed of progression and the quality of treatment response. In order to establish the grade, there are 3 factors to consider: Direct evidence – Evidence of bone loss over the past 5 years. (You may not have access to previous records, but this highlights the v...
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AAP Classifications Simplified: Part 1

How the heck are we supposed to implement the new American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) Staging and Grading Periodontitis classifications into practice?  This new system seems so complicated, right??  Actually, it can be simplified and once that is done, the new system is extremely valuable!  As hygienists, we know that periodontal disease is multifactorial.  It is affected by systemic health, habits, occlusion, and more.  We know that it is just as much about the host response as it is abo...
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Interview with Brooke Armour, RDH

Dr McGlennen: Tell me how you use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics. Brooke RDH: I use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics to test new patients, patients that have clinical signs of periodontal disease, or patients with a complex medical history. Dr McGlennen: What are the biggest benefits to using salivary diagnostics? Brooke RDH: The benefits of salivary diagnostics are being able to quantify periodontal disease, having something to physically show the patient about their periodontal diseas...
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How do you speak Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease with your patients?

Dr McGlennen: The oral microbiota changes when women become pregnant, and levels of periodontal pathogens increase1. During pregnancy, periodontal inflammation worsens, mostly due to increased levels of A.a., P.g., F.n. and P.i.2. Among these oral pathogens, there is a marked risk of infection of the maternal blood and the placenta, which leads to an increase in pre-term labor, lower birth weight and even the chance of fetal loss due specifically to the bacteria P.g. and F.n.3,4. Further, the ...
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Interview with the Searcy Dental Team

Dr. McGlennen: Please tell me how you use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics in your practice. Searcy Dental team:  We use salivary diagnostics as standard protocol in our periodontal therapy program, especially MyPerioPath®. These results help us, and patients, understand exactly which pathogens are present and at what levels.  When a patient has responded to our applied therapy, we are able to measure the amazing results by post treatment testing. Dr. McGlennen: What are the top two thing...
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