Why do I need to test for periodontal bacteria?
Scientific research has shown that the presence of certain marker bacteria is associated with periodontal disease activity. Knowing the infection level at any given time helps clinicians make the most appropriate risk assessment for gum disease, further tooth loss and can assist in monitoring tooth implant sites. Importantly, the absence of bacteria may be indicative of good oral health. The test detects the most important bacteria associated with periodontal disease activity and improves patient care by providing key information to you dentist to help with the following:
- Diagnose and monitor periodontal problems
- Accurately report bacteria levels
- Clarify clinical findings
- Provide excellent documentation for your progress
Does the test detect the right bacteria?
Yes, the most significant bacteria are tested for.
How is the test administered?
The clinician places a small paper point (similar, in size, to a very small toothpick) in the gum “pocket” adjacent to a tooth believed at risk. After a few seconds, the paper point has absorbed the necessary sample material and it is placed in a small vial and forwarded to the Laboratory, along with payment or payment information. The samples are analyzed, through utilization of DNA technology, and a Laboratory report is faxed and mailed to the clinician.
What do the laboratory results mean?
Like a cholesterol test helps to establish the risk for coronary artery disease, the test helps establish the risk of further attachment and bone loss. The Laboratory Report provides a user-friendly, one-page form, indicating the Pathogen Levels (levels of bacteria) as NEGATIVE, LOW, MODERATE or HIGH, with MODERATE or HIGH levels indicated advancing disease. Your clinician will explain the findings to you.
How can the tests direct my therapy?
The only way to know the extent of a periodontal infection is to perform a microbial diagnostic test. Knowing whether the disease-causing bacteria are present, and the level of infection, helps determine the need for antibiotics. When indicated, the test will assist in eliminating harmful pocket bacteria to enhance the success of surgical procedures. Follow-up tests help establish if you have responded to a particular therapy, which may vary among patients due to your particular response. A failed response to a particular therapy (with or without antibiotics) would indicate that another course of therapy is required. Periodic re-testing will help to alert your dentist of a re-infection before irreversible destruction can occur. This ultimately results in monetary savings to you.