If you have experienced issues with your gum health, you may have heard the term ‘Arestin’, an antibiotic treatment recommended by your hygienist or dentist. So what is Arestin & how can it help you? Every year when you visit Dolan Dental, our hygiene team gathers metrics to assess your gum health or periodontal status. Your dental hygienist and dentist gauge your periodontal status by measuring the pocket depth of gum tissue surrounding each tooth and reviewing dental x-rays. This is also known as “probing.” Why Does My Hygienist Poke Me?!!!
The Problem: Gum Disease
When bacteria builds up on your teeth and underneath the gums it can cause an infection, which can progress to gum disease. When harmful bacteria is present, the gums can become red,swollen tender, and even bleed ; some patients are aware of the sign and symptoms, but many patients can present with no symptoms at all. If your gums present with an infection or gum disease, your hygienist may recommend Arestin. Arestin is a prescription local-antibiotic treatment for chronic periodontitis, an infection of the gums. If this condition is not treated, it can lead to bone loss and eventually even tooth loss.
The Solution: Arestin
Arestin is a localized slow-release antibiotic that effectively kills the bacteria that causes periodontal disease. Your dental hygienist can easily apply Arestin underneath the gum tissue during periodontal treatment or routine maintenance appointments. The saying, “The issues are in the tissues” is true! The harmful bacteria which cause gum disease can remain, completely absorbed within the gum tissue even after your initial scaling & root planing (SRP), also called “deep scaling”. That’s right, that means without the placement of a local antibiotic like Arestin, there is effectively no way for your hygienist to remove 100% of the problematic bacteria that is causing the infection. However, when Arestin is placed at the time of scaling and root planing, infected periodontal pockets around the tooth are significantly reduced & long-term prognosis of the teeth are improved. Remember, Arestin is a slow-release antibiotic which means after it is placed it will continue working to fight bacteria.
Is Arestin, A “Cure”?
It depends on your diagnosis. Infections of the gums vary in severity. Gingivitis is reversible, while periodontitis or (gum disease) is not. Because there is no cure for gum disease, there are cases in which Arestin needs to be reapplied to some sites in order to reach optimal results & prevent further progression of periodontal disease.
Will My Benefits Cover Arestin?
Because Arestin is a prescription, if you have a medical benefit plan that helps with your prescription medications, it could assist with Arestin. However not all plans cover Arestin. The front office team at Dolan Dental can assist with more information about what benefits are available to you specifically. If your hygienist is recommending Arestin, it is because, based on the diagnostics we have collected, placing a local-antibiotic is the optimal treatment to restore your gum health. In addition to the obvious consequences of gum disease like tooth loss, there are many links between poor periodontal health & other serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, respiratory infections, and diabetes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3590713/