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What verbage do you use to tell a patient that have gum disease and need treatment ?



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8 Answers

I start by asking the patient if they know about gingivitis and how it leads to periodontitis. Depending on their level of knowledge of the subject I change how I approach it. The most important issue is when you talk in a “foreign language” to them. Try to remember what you knew before hygiene school and speak to them in that way while introducing a few words and explaining what they mean. Then I ask questions to see how much they really understood. Always document exactly what you explained instead of just saying “taught OHI” — you’ll never remember exactly what you’ve already explained. It’s best to be able to build upon that for the next appointment! 🙂

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I always preface what I am doing before doing a periodontal assessment and what the charting #’s mean. I explain about bone, pockets, bleeding, etc and what this can all mean prior to doing the charting. I also say aloud every bleeding point. When I sit them up they are like ” UH OH!” as I pre heated them. I don’t mince words..I tell them they have an active bacterial infection that has serious systemic consequences if left untreated. I explain that it is like an open septic wound and that we have ways to treat the infection and manage it afterwards. Then I do an IPT ( initial periodontal therapy ie: cosmetic cleaning only ) and reappoint for therapy + laser for laser bacterial reduction. Document and treatment plan the treatment. Their choice if they don’t accept tx but most do. If not, do not do a bloody pxs…just readdress at each hyg appt and then do a supra scale and polish only. Thats what I do…works for me. Good luck!

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I usually get to it as soon as I am aware. Fir example If I’m taking X-rays with the sensor and observe generalized radiographic calculus I point to it on the X-ray and explain what it is. I then explain that it can cause bone loss which can lead to tooth loss. After that i tell the patient that I will need to take a close look at their gums and really assess whats going on. From that point on I probe. I sit the patient upright look them in the eye and share all my clinical findings which include intramural pics of 22-27 lingual. I make my recommendations and recommend we start now! 95% of patients accept the treatment and start that day.

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I also start off by telling them what the numbers mean. 1-3 is considered healthy and four and above unhealthy! I always say 1-3 mm is considered healthy bc they can keep it clean with brushing and flossing, anything four and above they can’t reach. I also always assess if their gums bleed while they brush or floss and how often do they do both!

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It depends on each patient case. New patients are the easiest especially if it has been awhile since they have had their teeth cleaned and visible sub-g calc. Established patients are the tough ones. You have to become a “detective” and try and figure out the cause of the infection. Lots of reasons…. Change in health history, change in meds, change in dietary, added stress, change in home care, bad margins, overhangs, the list goes on. Find a way you are comfortable explaining the disease process and treatment recommendations and then make it personal to their possible cause of the infection. Use a mirror and show them a healthy pocket when probing then show them an unhealthy pocket…how deep the probe goes and bleeding they have around their loose, infected tissue without “stabbing” their gums!! 🙂 As PattyZ mentioned above, ALWAYS, even with your established 3 to 6 month recall patients, explain why you are doing the perio assessment and say those numbers and bleeding points out loud.

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Thanks everyone , just wanting to change my verbage up !

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I have a picture chart of perio disease and prior to do the charting I explain what I will be doing. show them the pictures and explain each stage. They listen to the charting and know what it means. If they have any ares of concern I sit them up and explain the next step. We do a perio chart on everyone 1x per year. Even though patients come in and ask if we are doing the stabby thing or pokey thing, I know that the education we have established has gotten through to them.

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All of the above ^^^
I take intra-oral photos and also include photos that show the perio probe inside all quadrants that will give a visual of the pocket on the 46″ HDTV screen.
Existing patients I usually try to break the news to them over a couple 6month cc intervals. Maybe like: you had several 4-5mm and we will re-eval in 3-6 months and at that time if the depths are 4-12mm we will have to start periodontal therapies instead of a healthy adult cleaning which is above the gum line only. They usually come around to accepting it after a couple 6 month adult prophies.

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