Your Dental Health

My name is Candace Gifford and I am a hygienist at Austin Dental Spa, and my job is to take care of the patient’s dental health. And two ways that we do that, we have two tests that we are able to do now where we can test for bacteria that are in the patient’s mouth.

There’s 13 different bacteria that cause periodontal disease and we can now test for them so we can customize the patient’s treatment needs to their specific bacteria. And we know now that there’s about 8% of the population that have periodontal disease in some form or fashion. Typically it starts out as just bleeding and then it can progress to bone loss and eventually tooth loss. So we’re very excited about the fact that we can test for these things and help prevent that for a lot of our patients.

And the second test we do along with that one is called a susceptibility test where we are able to detect their basically their genes or the genetic makeup to see if they are susceptible to periodontal disease and if they are, how susceptible they are based on a number reading from one to four, one being the least susceptible, four being the most susceptible, and if they are very susceptible then we know that we need to treatment plan their cleaning and their dental visits more tailored to the needs and they need to come in more often and they need to be more proactive with their homecare and just day to day stuff.

Another new technology that we have in our office that is brand new to dentistry is a test called a Vizilite test. And that is an oral cancer screening. We know that oral cancer is not on the decrease like a lot of the other cancers are because it’s not been able to be detected early on. So now we have a special test that we can do to see that before it is actually visual, that it can be seen in the mouth. And so we have the patient rinse with a special solution and it absorbs if there are any precancerous cells and then we use a light to shine in the mouth and we can actually see it before it can be seen visually which has been great for early detection and long term prognosis is much better if it’s caught early.