Dentistry is Medicine

In the previous blog, we discussed that the use of systemic antibiotics, for high-risk patients may currently be the most effective method to treat the systemic impact of translocated periodontal pathogens. As periodontal treatment plans are formatted, utilizing a MyPerioPath test assists in determining the pathogen profile of the periodontal infection and provides  evidence- based systemic antibiotic selection. If dentistry is medicine, then utilizing a test to confirm the presence of bacte...
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Routine dental hygiene… is never routine!

The Merrian-Webster defines paradigm shift as “an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.” There is a definite paradigm shift in dentistry and a strive to parallel our dental profession to our medical counterparts. Dr John Kempton is on this front line, helping address oral systemic health with direct patient care and as a leader inspiring others to a higher quality of care. Dr John Kempton will be our gues...
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The Medical History Form and Salivary Diagnostics

A medical history form is a starting point to guide conversations and to make connections between oral health and overall health. Consider re-configuring your current medical history form to quickly be able to visualize oral systemic connections and/ or concerns. These 5 questions should be asked on your current health history form. 1) Has a parent, sibling or grandparent had a heart attack or stroke? Yes__ No__ 2) Has a parent, sibling or grandparent had diabetes? Yes__ No__ 3) Has a p...
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Communicating with Patients about Nicotine and Perio

During a recent in-office team workshop, we were discussing nicotine use and its dramatic effects on the progression of periodontal disease. To help the team fully understand the consequences of nicotine use, we talked about vasoconstriction and how smoking masks the true level of periodontal infection. The vasoconstrictive properties of smoking reduce blood flow and, in turn, oxygen to the tissue, resulting in gums that do not bleed or have reduced bleeding. Smoking patients have pockets th...
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Reduce Dental Benefit Hassles and Help Your Patients Say Yes

Wouldn’t it be great if you never had to deal with a denied claim again? One way to help prevent these hassles is by having more diagnostic information from the beginning! The quantitative results that you receive in a salivary diagnostics report gives you a measurable overview of a patient’s bacterial profile as well as risk level—both of which provide crucial evidence for your best chance at insurance coverage. (You’ll also have a great baseline from which you can assess the efficacy of tr...
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WNL: What’s your definition?

During virtually every dental examination, there is a review or updating of the patient’s health history and a clinical examination. If everything is consistent with good oral and overall health the notation WNL is commonly made, which is an abbreviation for Within Normal Limits. There is however another less commonly known meaning to WNL; We Never Looked. Looking goes way beyond visual observation and includes other diagnostic tools such as radiographs, scans and laboratory testing. Let’s co...
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Perio Pathogens CAUSE Rheumatoid Arthritis– Now What?

“Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease affecting over 1.3 million Americans and as much as 1% of the worldwide population.” (www.rheumatoidarthritis.org) There is a growing body of research indicating a causal association between specific periodontal pathogens and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In a 2009 study, in Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry, the authors indicate that a specific perio pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.g.), produces an enzyme capable of modifying specifi...
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Pregnancy Gingivitis: Test, Don’t Guess

Recently, I was training in a well-established dental practice of more than 30 years.  The four woman, very talented and all out of school less than a year hygiene team, prompted the question about my opinion of pregnancy gingivitis. I answered with a question of my own, “What did you learn in school about it?” Quite frankly, their response left me speechless, “It’s caused by increased blood flow and it will go away once the baby is born.”  WHAT?  Is this really being taught to the next genera...
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Patient Expectations in the Dental Office

Most patients seem to have reasonable expectations of the care they receive from their dental providers. It is reasonable for our patients to expect us to provide the right amount of treatment for their dental needs- no more and no less, for a reasonable fee. For the majority of patients, the dental service most often received is of a periodontal nature, such as a prophylaxis or periodontal maintenance procedure. This generally occurs two to four times a year. Restorative treatments such as ...
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Missing the Boat When it Comes to Perio Therapy

During a recent national speaking engagement, a hygienist told me that they used to do clinical laboratory testing. “We stopped doing it because when we tested months later, the bacteria had come back and the patient had an active infection again. We decided ‘it’ wasn’t working so we stopped,” she explained. I thought to myself, wow, this is very interesting and a perfect example of ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water’! It wasn’t the clinical laboratory testing that wasn’t working, it ...
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