Casey Hein & Associates

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Improving Immune System Function by Targeting Periodontitis

Suggested Audience: Dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental technicians, and business staff
CDE credits awarded: 2.0 hours upon successful completion of the post test
CDE Certificate Requirements: In order to receive your Verification of Attendance (CDE certificate) you must correctly answer 3 out of the 3 questions in the Quiz that follows at the end of the course.

Prioritizing the health of our immune system has never been more important than during a viral pandemic. Patients know this, and they’re well-primed to hear about ways they can boost their immunity. Of course, there are recommendations such as dietary supplements, good nutrition, adequate sleep, increased physical activity, and stress management; but, how about addressing chronic infections that compromise immunity? Could this include periodontitis? Maybe.

No one has investigated whether treatment of periodontitis, specifically, enhances immunity*. However, what we do have is mounting evidence that many chronic infections can dysregulate the immune system in ways that increase susceptibility to unrelated pathogens. Chronic infections exert another negative impact, and that is that vaccines for unrelated illnesses may not be as effective in people who have chronic infections. With the threat we face during this pandemic, there has never been a greater incentive to diagnose and treat periodontitis. And, for our patients in periodontal maintenance, it’s never been more important to ensure that periodontal disease activity does not recur.

This webinar provides a practical, evidence-based overview of the role of the periodontal microbiota in subverting the host immune response to create a pro-inflammatory environment that induces pathological changes beyond the periodontium to distant organs throughout the body. Of note, this includes the lungs and increased risk for respiratory infections ― highly relevant at this time. The course will also discuss the importance of gauging the rate of periodontal disease progression (grading), introduced in the 2017 classification system for diagnosing periodontitis, and assessing stability in a reduced periodontium. Additional topics include diagnosing periodontitis in its earliest stages, improving the accuracy of periodontal exams, how we hijack the diagnosis of early stage periodontitis, and the use of a tray/hydrogen peroxide system that has demonstrated effectiveness in stabilizing the periodontium during periodontal maintenance.

* According to a literature review conducted on May 23- 27, 2020

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this webinar, participants will immediately be able to:
  1. Educate patients about the role of chronic infections, perhaps such as periodontitis, in compromising immunity.
  2. Diagnose periodontal disease in its earliest stages.
  3. Determine the rate of periodontal disease progression (grading) and assess stability in a reduced periodontium.
  4. Stop hijacking the diagnosis of periodontitis.
  5. Prescribe an adjunct therapy that reduces periodontal disease activity during periodontal maintenance.

Collateral Materials & Supplemental Resources

Articles referenced
(open access)

Award of Continuing Dental Education Credit

CDE Credit: 2  hours upon successful completion of the post test Casey Hein & Associates is designated as an Approved PACE Program Provider FAGD/MAGD. Credit approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial board of dentistry or AGD endorsement. The current term of approval extends from December 1, 2019 to November 30, 2025. Provider #337890

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Conflict of Interest Disclosure
Casey Hein & Associates, LLC received unrestricted educational grants from Florida Probe and Perio Protect to assist in the development of this course and the ability to provide complimentary access to this course along with awarding CDE credit. I want to thank Florida Probe, and Perio Protect for their generosity in supporting this program. There is no conflict of interest in this presentation.

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