“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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JP Institute TRANSFORMED! — My New Life As A Hygienist

I have been a clinical hygienist since 1979. When I earned my degree in Dental Hygiene, I was very happy, idealistic and excited about caring for patients. I felt I was on a mission to improve people’s lives through better oral health. Being young and starry-eyed , I was not prepared for the reality of working in a dental practice. I found, to my great surprise, that most of my patients were not interested in the education about their oral health that I had been trained to provide. They just...
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Interview with Dr Lisa Marie Samaha

Dr McGlennen: Tell me how you use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics. Dr Samaha: OralDNA® testing has been a standard and integral part of our intake of all patients with periodontal disease since early 2007. Our practice is well known for our protocol of diagnosing and treating periodontal disease and increasing total health profiles. Although I am a general dentist, over 95% of our new patients have some form of periodontal disease, from gingivitis to advanced, aggressive levels and we do no...
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Simple Strategies to Enhance Oral & Overall Health

As dental professionals, we all take the responsibility to present treatment cases to patients. Most often, the dental hygienist presents periodontal treatment plans to patients, but in reality, any team member could present this type of case. For example, if a new patient is seen on the doctor’s schedule and periodontal disease is the diagnosis, the dental assistant could have the opportunity to present the case. It is important that with any case presentation, the team is on the same page....
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A New Conversation with Your Patients

How do we introduce the idea of salivary testing to our patients? As is the approach with every dental procedure or service we recommend for our patients, the primary consideration is excellent communication. Some recommendations are routine and no explanation is necessary, including fillings and fluoride, among many others. When we introduce new procedures or services to our patients some explanation is appropriate. DNA salivary testing for bacteria is a good example. So what should we say w...
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Establishing New Treatment Objectives for Periodontal Disease

The principles of leadership that drive achievement have the practitioner state the objectives prior to initiating an action plan. Success is more certain and predictable, while any short falls become measurable and remedies are tied to the metrics of the initial objectives. The traditional treatment objectives for periodontal therapy have revolved around certain soft and hard tissue architectural end points and bleeding on probing. These standards have been in place for about 100 years a...
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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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The True Cost of Clinical Lab Testing

As an in-office coach I often hear the following objection, “Clinical laboratory testing is too expensive. My patients won’t want to spend the money.” Taking into consideration the latest research, released in the online British Medical Journal November 29, 2016, which states that periodontal disease with high risk pathogens (Aa, Pg, Tf, Td, Fn) is causal for arterial sclerotic vascular disease, the patient can’t afford NOT to test for the presence of these dangerous bacteria. (1) As a pr...
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Where to Start

A common dilemma among many dental practices is how to transition the hygiene department from prophylaxis to comprehensive periodontal diagnosis and treatment. Among the concerns is the perception that if we are starting something new, does that imply that up until now patient needs have been inadequately addressed? The simple solution to this dilemma is referring to the constantly evolving knowledge in healthcare. Using phrases such as “Research has shown” or “We now know” , can help with t...
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A Progressive Oral Wellness Center in Rural America

In our rural practice (McCreight Progressive Dentistry) in Northwest Colorado, we see periodontal disease on average in about one of every two patients, or around 46%. This is representative of the CDC statistic as posted in the May 2015 Journal of Periodontology. Whenever we read these statistics, we are puzzled. In an industrialized nation where home care tools and dental technologies are readily available, how can there be so much disease? Here are some measures (newer technologies) we ha...
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