At Last…the Treatment

In previous articles we touched on the source and correlation of oral and systemic disease; we also examined the importance of accurate history and diagnosis. Now we need to look at the goals of treatment, both conventional and integrative (some would say “holistic”), so that combining different approaches and therapies will achieve our treatment goals.

Treatment begins with a careful choice of biocompatible dental materials, as it is paramount to not introduce harmful materials into the body. It is believed that mercury is a toxic substance and should not be used in the body. There are blood tests that recommend dental materials that are satisfactory or not satisfactory for each individual patient. It is an antigen-antibody test that identifies prior allergens in the dental materials. Another method for dental material compatibility is kinesiology or muscle testing for individual compatibility.

The next major concern is treating periodontal infection (gum disease). Conventional treatment relies on professional periodic cleaning reflected by the patient’s needs; it could be at two, three, four, or six- month intervals. More serious conditions would require deep cleaning to eliminate what are called periodontal pockets. Following basic treatment we would give home care instructions and recommend the necessary home care products to get the job done, i.e., flossing, use of the water pik, and other protocols that work. Effective treatment involves these tried and true methods and also advances in new modalities. Recent data suggests the use of natural products and methods and the use of biological medicines that are effective in treating oral conditions. Biological medicines based on a hundred years of research, in combination with each other and with traditional treatment can be very effective. We strive to lower the viral, bacterial and fungal load on the body so that the immune system can function at its optimum level. The end goal for the patient is total health, balance and homeostasis. We believe for success to happen there must be critical collaboration between all the healing practioners, thus achieving total body health. The best advice, “see your dentist and hygienist”, they are concerned about your total health.

In closing, according to the health care industry experts, the increased cost for diabetes and cardiovascular disease since 2002 is $535.1 billion dollars. Aetna Insurance did a study of 144,225 insured persons. After assessing the effects of periodontal treatment on medical costs the expenditures in 2006 were found to be lower for both diseases if periodontal treatment was completed for this group. To underline the importance of this oral-systemic disease correlation, on May 23, 2006, Cigna Insurance and their National Dental Director Miles Hall, D.D.S. announced the expansion of its Oral Health INTEGRATION Program to include the treatment of periodontal disease for members with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. If qualified, they may receive 100% re-imbursement for periodontal care. WOW! If the insurance companies are concerned, you as patients and we as dentists should be concerned!