Hygiene Is About the Whole System

Incorporating Systemic Immune Support into Hygiene Treatment
by Valerie Williams, RDH

If you look at the treatment of periodontal disease, a simple visual would be a 3-legged stool: one leg for instrumentation, one for behavior modification and the third for systemic immune support. Over the years, clinical skills have been perfected with specialized instruments and lasers. In addition, dental teams have become very adept at motivating patients. The one area that has been missing is systemic immune support — assisting the body’s natural immune system to fight inflammation and infection. The main reason this has been overlooked is because of a lack of scientific research. That, however, is changing.

Recently a clinical study was conducted at a major West Coast university to determine the effect of the nutritional supplement Periodontal Formula 3 (PF3) on the management of periodontal health in 85 participants. This double-blind placebo-controlled study was specifically designed to determine the effect of a nutritional supplement on gingival index score, probing depth, attachment level, carotenoid antioxidant level, and serum C-reactive protein level. PF3 showed a significant increase in the skin carotenoid score (increase in antioxidant levels). The results of this study also showed that PF3 significantly decreased gingival index score and showed a decrease in indexes of periodontal health parameters.

Collaborating scientists will be submitting the full results for an upcoming dental meeting. However, the following highlights make us feel it is time to incorporate systemic immune support into periodontal therapy treatment plans:

 

  • Gingival inflammation was reduced significantly in the experimental group
  • Skin carotenoid increased in experimental group
  • Significant decrease in bleeding score for the experimental group
  • Pocket depths showed no significant decrease, which was expected for the short amount of time (8 weeks) the experimental group was followed.

 

 

Overall, the scientists involved were very excited about the results. Along with Dr. Mike Milligan, AHC has been involved in conducting an in-office field study utilizing systemic immune support in periodontal treatment. Very promising results are coming in! What we are seeing so far is:

 

  • 6mm pockets decreased 47%
  • 5mm pockets decreased 67%
  • 4mm pockets decreased 48%
  • Overall, 4-6mm pockets decreased 52%
  • Bleeding points decreased 58%

 

 

The time is right to incorporate systemic immune support in hygiene treatment. Based on the studies, PF3 is the neutraceutical to incorporate. If you are interested, please contact Advanced Hygiene Concepts for more information!

Valerie Williams, RDH

Periodontal Disease & Systemic Disease

Who Would Have Guessed? Better Periodontal Treatment Coverage!
by Valerie Williams, RDH

Perhaps you have spent the past few years determined to avoid dental journals, consumer magazines and newscasts. That may be the only way you could have missed the body of research supporting the connection between periodontal disease and significant systemic diseases. Even insurance companies, notorious for watching their bottom lines, have been conducting their own studies. Several have found that it is to their advantage to allow many of their patients more periodontal benefits with low or no deductibles. As insurance companies such as Aetna and Cigna catch on to this new trend in medical/dental integration programs, you can be sure others will follow.

Of specific concern are patients with diabetes, coronary heart disease, a history of stroke, or who are pregnant. If these patients have their periodontal disease treated early, their systemic diseases are more easily managed and they have fewer complications. This discovery benefits everyone: patients, dental practices, and even insurance companies.

What does this mean for your dental practice? Your practice must have the systems in place to consistently monitor patients. You also need to understand early intervention, and you and your staff should strive to raise your patients’ dental IQs through clear verbal communication and patient education pieces. In addition, you ought to be specific and clear in the documentation of patients’ charts. It is imperative that you first identify the patient’s disease level, then inform them of their treatment options, risks and any alternatives. This is essential in protecting yourself from lawsuits. Finally, you will want to understand the nuances of insurance submission, as submitting medical insurance claims for patients could become standard practice for dental offices.

The bottom line is, early detection and intervention of periodontal disease can save your patients’ lives. Make sure you are prepared! To find out how your practice rates in treating periodontal disease, contact me at 800.400.6772 for a free hygiene analysis from Advanced Hygiene Concepts.

Valerie Williams, RDH

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