Sometimes a chance taken on a product pays off
Today was a fun day of clinical dental hygiene at my office, and I'm happy to tell you why. That very title implies that the content I present allows me the liberty of writing freely about the world of a dental hygiene professional at chairside, something I'm most proud to be. For the record, I'm not paid to endorse any oral care product name I reference in this column.
Now, back to what sparked me today. More than six months ago I was introduced to Livionex, a dental medicinal gel. (Google the product to learn about the science and other pertinent information.) I ended up with some product samples of this dental gel to distribute to my patients, which I did over the next few months.
Fast-forward to today and my recare visit with "Paul," a patient to whom I had dispensed a small tube of Livionex six months prior. Paul is a 71-year-old man with moderate, generalized chronic periodontal disease. Due to financial constraints, he will not see a periodontist, nor will he see me any more often than every six months. He is an avid Internet research fan.
He uses an oral irrigator once a day and refuses to use an automatic toothbrush. He will not floss or practice any form of interproximal care beyond the oral irrigator. As a result, his hygiene visits keep me very busy.
He has heard it all from my doctor and me. He forms his own conclusions and walks his own path. At his previous six-month checkup, after yet another visit of debriding his periodontal pockets-which had an abundance of debris and calculus resulting in significant bleeding, etc.-I asked him if he was interested in trying a dental gel that had solid research behind it. He said yes, so I gave him a sample. I told him that, in the simplest of terms, Livionex interferes mechanically with how biofilm attaches to teeth, hence disrupting it. I told him it is likely, after consistent use, that he will have less biofilm, less calculus, and less inflammation.
He left with his sample, and when I saw him today, he had finished the mini tube, and had actually visited the website and purchased two more large tubes, the second of which he was already halfway through. Yes! A tube of Livionex gel is $20. This cost is significantly more than your average toothpaste, and for the record, Paul does not part with his money easily.
Note: Livionex should not be considered a toothpaste, but rather a unique dental gel. This verbiage may make patients more comfortable about the expenditure for each tube. Paul did so based on my recommendation, and I could not have been more pleased with his presentation. He simply had nowhere near the amount of debris, calculus, or bleeding as what I was accustomed during the past five years. His pocket measurements were slightly less. What? I'm flabbergasted. Paul has followed the same routine he always does, simply adding the use the use of Livionex.
The results were highly satisfactory. I am now inspired to recommend the product to more patients. Mornings like these warm the cockles of this hygienist's heart!
Post-lunch clinical dental hygiene at my office brought another delightful finding. "Zach" is a patient who presented and was diagnosed (after biopsy) with lichen planus, generalized to his gingiva, seven years ago. Through the years, the lichen planus was a constant in his clinical presentation. Until today, that is.
I've always been a cheerleader for CloSYS. Rowpar Pharmaceutical sponsors my seminars, and I wrote a column previously that contained accolades for CloSYS's merits as a malodor treatment. I've since come to appreciate it as an all-around, alcohol-free antimicrobial mouth rinse. Six months ago, one of the company's principals sent me before-and-after slides of a case study showing generalized lichen planus on the gingiva. The "before" presentation slide resembled what I see on Zach's tissues at each recare visit. The "after" slide was an impressive reduction in the lichen planus after four weeks of CloSYS use.
Zach sees me quarterly for periodontal maintenance. At his last appointment, I recommended that he try CloSYS to minimize his lichen planus. He agreed. While the condition causes him no discomfort, neither he nor I like the fact that it's present. Until recently, I was at a loss for anything to recommend.
Today I saw his three months post-usage clinical presentation. In the five years that I've treated him, his lichen planus has been a constant-until today! There was a remarkable reduction. I am filled with enthusiasm, and it's contagious for Zach, who pledges to continue using CloSYS. Bravo! I will look forward to evaluating his tissues at future visits. Rowpar is in the process of summarizing and posting these findings.
I realize that my mini clinical "trials" do not follow official protocol and are extremely limited. My information in today's column is anecdotal at best, but you can certainly refer to the research and case studies at each product's website.
I will wager that your patients, like mine, value your recommendations. They follow through because they trust us. I lean on the research I've read regarding both these products, and RDH readers have access to this data as well. It delights me to share with you what I perceive to be winning solutions to help my patients.
Onward we go; it is in our heart's core! RDH
EILEEN MORRISSEY, RDH, MS, is a practicing clinician, speaker, and writer. She is an adjunct dental hygiene faculty member at Burlington County College. Eileen offers CE forums to doctors, hygienists, and their teams. Reach her at [email protected] or 609-259-8008. Visit her website at www.eileenmorrissey.com.