So often AMP comes into a dental office with concerns from the hygiene team on how to treat the periodontal patients that need this care yet have gone years without it. It is often asked of us in puzzlement on how to approach these patients after the years of not addressing either their periodontal health…. Or not.
The standards and protocols in percentages of treating periodontal disease varies from the entity and how they come up with their stats. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the ADA (American Dental Association) or the ADHA (American Dental Hygiene Association) vary in their results nationally from 50% to 75+%. This is generally and not especially in your area, or not. These are national standards and results given to us to know the prevalence of his disease. Often times we go into an office and the percentage of the patient base treated for Periodontitis is less than 5%.
Why even consider this? AMP teaches that treating periodontal disease at the onset of the disease is much like treating cancer. Both diseases are rather quiet in symptomology until either you die (result of most cancers) or your tooth falls out of your head (result of Periodontal Disease). Dental Hygienists are trained to recognize and treat this disease and offer solutions at any stage. Question is, do we do this consistently?
If one were to treat periodontal disease at its earliest detection with consistency, what would that look like in your practice? Would your hygiene chairs fill more consistently with 4 appointments a year instead of two? Or, is your hygiene department doing “bloody” prophy’s and experiencing not only holes in their schedules but tiredness in their hand, back and neck.
Do you find your inner self battling the insurance monster with non-coverage and fear to tell the patient they have the disease but their insurance won’t cover them to maintain it properly? AMP has ways for Hygienists to overcome this giant monster and begin to treat patients again before too much time goes by and the disease has progressed to have to go to a Periodontal Surgeon for surgical correction.
All of this is preventable! Ask us what those conversations are that build value to the patient to not want to lose their teeth! We can help!