Dr McGlennen: Tell me how you use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics.
Shira Newman RDH: Testing establishes a baseline for every patient’s overall oral health. I cannot imagine practicing without it.
Dr McGlennen: What are the top two things to consider when you select a patient for testing?
Shira Newman RDH: Honestly, I would test everyone if they are willing. A person could present looking perfectly healthy: no bleeding on probing, no buildup, nice firm pink gum tissue, but still have high and moderate risk pathogenic bacteria lurking below the gumline. Through continuing education our team knows high risk pathogens to be tissue invasive at any level, so why would you not test everyone? If we know these bacteria can be causing harm to their organs and negatively impacting their overall health, why not test?
Dr McGlennen: What are the biggest benefits to using salivary diagnostics?
Shira Newman RDH: Knowledge is power. When I can test a patient’s saliva, I now have a key to their oral and overall health. Once armed with this knowledge I can create a bespoke homecare routine to target the pathogens in their mouth. Dentistry was never meant to be one size fits all when it comes to oral health. This allows us a window into what is going on, and an opportunity to create an environment of health based on the knowledge provided.
Dr McGlennen: What is your favorite part of the MyPerioPath® results? Why?
Shira Newman RDH: My favorite part of MyPerioPath® results is the diagram of the human body and how each bacterium tested can impact your overall health. I find that when put into this context patients have an easier time understanding that these bacteria are not just impacting the health of your mouth, they are impacting the health of your entire body.
Dr McGlennen: How do your patients respond to this technology? What is their #1 question?
Shira Newman RDH: My patients have loved OralDNA® and the wealth of knowledge that it has brought. Honestly, their number 1 question is how often they need to retest. I know per the MyPerioPath® report it is recommended to retest 6-12 weeks post therapy. However, at our office we have determined 8 months to a year as our retest. Being consistent is key for the retest.
Dr McGlennen: What is your biggest challenge? How do you overcome that obstacle?
Shira Newman RDH: Any hygienist would agree there is never enough time in the day. From collection to entering the order, reserve 5 minutes. But this test is more than worth it; the 5 additional minutes is worth its weight in gold.
Dr McGlennen: If a new OralDNA® provider were to ask you for advice, what would be your best tip?
Shira Newman RDH: My advice is to take the time to educate yourself on the benefits of OralDNA®, each bacteria, and their impact on overall health making sure you know it backwards, forwards, sideways and in your sleep. When you know what you are talking about and can effectively communicate the importance of this test, there is not a patient who will not benefit from testing and there is not a patient who will not want to be tested.
Dr McGlennen: Where do you see salivary diagnostics in 3-5 years? 10 years? What would be the impact on your practice/patients?
Shira Newman RDH: Salivary tests are going to be standard practice in the next 3-5 years. For years dentistry has sold the treatment, not the outcome. Now, dentistry is finally pivoting and focusing on whole body wellness. With this new focus on full body health and how it relates to the oral cavity, salivary testing is going to be put in its rightful spotlight, with every practitioner utilizing salivary testing as a staple in their tool kit.