We know there is a large population walking around with at least some form of periodontal disease. What are we doing about it? Hygiene schools are teaching the healthy recall and Dental schools are minaturizing the education of clinical dental hygiene because they need to teach more endodontic, cosmetic and implant dentistry. That means Dental Hygienists need to educate themselves further they are relied on heavier in our practices. We need to collect the correct data so our Dentists can correctly diagnose and tailor a treatment plan. When following through on our treatment, we need to employ advanced instrumentation techniques and external fulcrums to successfully scale and plane the root surface. Yes, plane the root surface if need be. Diseased cementum is not hospitable to the periodontal ligament. It has been confirmed by using endoscopy that if a pocket bleeds upon probing, there is bacteria present 100 percent of the time. This is mostly occurring at crown margins, furcations, in any stage, and at the CEJ. Locally administered antibiotics (LAA's) do not work if the bacteria are not completely removed. This is true for peri-implantitis, also. We need to evaluate that calculus is not present in the threads. Mrs. Pattison will soon be streaming more than 100 hours of video on her website demonstrating these advanced techniques.
Of all the wonderful information presented by Mrs. Pattison, the most interesting was a recent study completed by J. Slots at the University of Southern California confirming the presence of all 7 herpetic viruses in aggressive perodontitis. Click here to view the study. We may need to consider systemic antvirals along with targeted antibiotics to adjunct our procedures.
I strongly encourage you to continue to educate our patients and perform the best clinical treatment to our patients. Know when to refer. Continue to elevate the profession of Dental Hygiene by seeking out advanced degrees and additional certifications.