Double Take: "...One step closer to a truly preventative practice."

March 21, 2012

It was a colleague who first introduced Dr. Doug Thompson to OralDNA Labs and the MyPerio tests, but for quite some time he had been looking for a treatment modality that would allow him to figure out who among his patients might be susceptible to periodontal disease. “Typically, we wait for tissue destruction to happen before we identify disease,” he explains.

It was a colleague who first introduced Dr. Doug Thompson to OralDNA Labs and the MyPerio tests, but for quite some time he had been looking for a treatment modality that would allow him to figure out who among his patients might be susceptible to periodontal disease. “Typically, we wait for tissue destruction to happen before we identify disease,” he explains. “When I heard there was a product that would allow us to look at the microbial profile, I knew that it would fit in with our preventive services. This was a tool that would allow me to provide proactive care.”
Not every practice prioritizes prevention. How does this product create value for you?
Both in medicine and dentistry, we’ve been much too focused on repairing the results of disease and not as focused on treating the cause of disease. OralDNA’s products allow me to use the bacterial profile and other risk factors the patient may have to make a more informed decision about the aggressiveness of my treatment.

Just because people have teeth doesn’t mean they’ll have disease-disease comes from susceptibility. OralDNA helps me determine that based on genetic markers and informs me about the bacterial challenge. This information allows me to be more proactive.  This product puts me one step closer to being a truly preventative practice.

We’re also seeing mounting evidence for a medical rationale for treating the microbial profile. So now we have both tooth preservation and total body wellness at stake. Slam dunk-it’s a good product.

How has your staff responded?
Let’s face it: No one wants to do more or add more in the limited time allotted. We have to reassure our staff members that we’re not going to ask them to do more in less time. Dentists need to take a leadership role in creating systems and creating time for team members to do what you’ve asked them to do. If we allow them to take ownership in this proactive approach, then they are responsive. The key is to figure out a system that creates a protocol that starts in the hygiene room and ends in the consulting room.

Do patients “get” the product?
The patient response has been overwhelmingly positive. It all starts with education. Instead of telling my patient that his or her gums are bleeding and it makes me uncomfortable, I can now tell them that with a simple test we can find out exactly what’s causing the bleeding. It’s a visual confirmation that there is a problem and my experience is that patients will ask to have it taken care of. It’s a validated medical test that tells them they need bacterial management. Even if they can’t afford to treat the disease at that time, they want to. I’ve had patients come back a year later once they can afford treatment.

Is this product something every dentist should use?
If a doctor is already thinking about tighter periodontal management and wants to treat early disease in a truly proactive way, OralDNA will work well for that doctor. If he or she isn’t perio charting consistently, isn’t using a perio probe, then this may be too advanced for them.
Creating the practice of your dreams is a journey, not an event. People need to grow their educational experience with this kind of product before they can implement it, and need great support once they do.