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Hello all! Hope you are all having a great week! Here’s the final part of our 3 part blog about how we are using our dental laser in our hygiene room! Feel free to let us know what you think in a comment, or on our Facebook or Twitter! Enjoy.

We have begun a new treatment protocol for periodontal disease. In addition to analyzing bacterial samples with our microscope, we now are able to send saliva samples to a lab and see exactly which periodontal pathogens are present and in what concentration, and test for genetic susceptibility for periodontal disease. The sample collection in simple and non-invasive, it involves a 30 second swish with a small amount of saline solution. After analysis, the lab includes a specific antibiotic recommendation for treatment of those who have concentrations of harmful bacteria above threshold.

As you know, Dr. Stickney is not in the habit of prescribing antibiotics, so this has been a new leaf for both of us to turn over. One great benefit is that since we know the exact bacteria causing the infection, we are able to target the bacteria with the most effective type of antibiotic available, instead of simply using a broad spectrum antibiotic and hoping it works. Knowing whether or not someone is more genetically prone to periodontal disease, it helps us gauge how proactively we need to address signs of disease. Once we have this information, we are able to plan out our course of action. For those who have results with bacterial concentrations above threshold, typically the treatment includes scaling and root planning, or “deep cleaning”, performed in the middle of the eight-day antibiotic regimen. The purpose of this is to attack the bacteria systemically (with the antibiotic) and locally (with the scaling and root planing).

The results that we have achieved with the combined antibiotic therapy and scaling and root planing have been amazing. It used to be that we didn’t see this kind of healing and recovery unless periodontal surgery was performed. Being a minimally invasive practice, we are happy to have this option for those who show the need for it and are comfortable taking the eight-day course of antibiotics. For those who have results that are positive for harmful, disease causing bacteria but are below threshold, typically antibiotics are not recommended. In these cases the body’s own immune system, along with proper professional dental treatment, should be able to overcome the infection. The laser can also be used in conjunction with this treatment protocol for those who would like an option other than antibiotics. You are welcome to have a look at the lab’s website, they have great educational resources: www.oraldna.com

Again, we’d love to hear what you think!
Hoping you are all well,
Richard Stickney

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