by Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, MEd, FAADH
Hygienists search constantly for the best non-surgical periodontal modalities for their patients. Periodontal debridement, locally administered antibiotics, and frequent recare appointments help patients reduce periodontal disease destruction. Hygienists have also tried numerous other products or procedures through the years that may or may not have succeeded. One such product was PerioChip. Several years ago when PerioChip was promoted by a company, it received very little positive feedback or use.
Today, a company called MIS Implant Technologies in Fairlawn, N.J., is the sole distributor for PerioChip. MIS Implant Technologies, established in 1995, is a rapidly expanding high tech research and production company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets a comprehensive range of dental implants. PerioChip is a 2.5 mg chlorhexidine chip manufactured by Dexcel Pharma. MIS Implants is the only company licensed to distribute PerioChip in the U.S. The company has hygienists working in a variety of management and sales roles. Noel Wilford, RDH, BA, is the professional relations manager who provides a number of continuing education programs on the role of PerioChip in a comprehensive periodontal care program.
Noel and her team have developed training modules to provide dental professionals with the most convenient and up-to-date information. They have developed these modules as webcasts and an educational initiative called listen and learn. The concept of listen and learn is to provide an on-demand informational conference call for users and potential users of PerioChip. Interest in PerioChip has grown since it is the only bacteriocidal locally delivered antimicrobial.
However, many areas of the U.S. have no local MIS sales representative to present programs on PerioChip. With the listen and learn programs, dental professionals can hear a recorded presentation about the benefits of PerioChip in their practice. Once registered, a hygienist or dental practice can be e-mailed or faxed visuals that correspond to the presentation. The objective is for clinicians to differentiate the PerioChip from other LDAs on the market. Its ease of use, along with safety and efficacy profiles and research, make it an excellent choice, along with periodontal debridement, for patients with chronic periodontitis. The listen and learn program is presented entirely over the phone, which makes it a great opportunity during lunch or staff meetings so staff don't have to interrupt their regular activities. Noel is also available to present in-person programs, which are very interactive so participants can obtain a greater understanding of the subject.
Noel practiced clinical hygiene for more than 20 years in both periodontal and general dental offices. She believes that it is critical for hygienists to understand all the treatment options available to their patients. Hygienists owe it to themselves and to their patients to be as informed about all available treatment products and procedures and have a true comfort level in discussing and using them. Patients question all members of the dental team about their condition and products available so everyone in the practice needs to understand all aspects of the periodontal disease process. That is one reason that Noel believes the "listen and learn" programs" are invaluable to practice development. In addition, to help educate all team members, the program is provided to dental practices free of charge!
Noel is a graduate of the Forsyth School for Dental Hygienists and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut. While at UConn, she conducted psychology research. She is a detail-oriented person who thrives on the details of research studies. When she began working for CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals, a client asked her to speak at a dental hygiene program at Columbia University. She presented and became hooked on the educational side of things.
When a return to clinical practice was needed, she was asked to remain on the CollaGenex speaker's bureau. She became a member of the MIS Implant team in 2007 and admits that being back in the corporate world is very different than being in a speaker's bureau. She is a member of ADHA and active in her local component. Noel encourages all hygienists to support their association with their voice, or at least their financial support. She is very concerned about initiatives that take shortcuts to make more people providers of oral care, and the ADHA is our protection and the patients' protector.
Noel has seen her career take many different avenues. Yet she has always wanted to be a hygienist, and feels it is a gift to work closely with clients/patients. What she has learned from patients and coworkers is immeasurable. She hopes to share that knowledge with those she educates. With MIS and PerioChip, she has found her place!
For more information on PerioChip/MIS Implants Listen and Learn programs or Noel, contact: [email protected].
About the Author
Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, MEd, FAADH, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, member of ADHA and other professional associations. Ann-Marie presents continuing-education programs for hygienists and dental team members and has written numerous articles on a variety of topics. She can be reached at [email protected].