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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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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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 prof...
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Salivary Crystal Ball – Part 3

The importance of the specific bacteria to the prognosis of an individual’s case of gum disease was known over 20 years ago. In a 1996 article in the Journal of Periodontology (Renvert et al. J Periodontol. 1996 Jun; 67(6): 562-71.) the authors concluded that the presences of Aa, Pg, and Pi alone or in combination correlated with attachment level changes. The authors further concluded that pathogenic bacteria are better predictors of disease progression than observed clinical signs. In a 200...
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The Salivary Crystal Ball – Part 2

Most general dental practices are providing the same types of services: diagnostic services, restorative procedures, prosthodontic procedures, endodontic procedures, surgical procedures and periodontal procedures. Of course there are variations in techniques and complexity of cases being undertaken, but substantially a wide swath of dental practices are providing the same services. When a patient comes for an appointment, depending on where they live and work, they are traveling past several or ...
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The Salivary Crystal Ball – Part 1

Bleeding on probing (BOP) is encountered every day in virtually every dental practice. It is so common that there may be a tendency to undervalue its importance in diagnosing gingivitis and periodontitis. BOP is like periodontitis or pregnancy in the following regards: There is no such thing as “just a little bleeding.” You have it or you don’t. There is no such thing as a little periodontitis; you have it or you don't. There is no such thing as a little pregnant; you are or you are not. You...
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