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Occasionally, dentists diagnose patients with periodontal disease, which is caused by bacteria growth beneath the gum line. Often, these patients must undergo a scaling and root planing, or SRP procedure. Although it sounds complicated, the procedure is a non-surgical means of cleaning deeply beneath the gum line.

Because periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that grows and infects the gums, an antibiotic may be needed to kill the bacteria causing the problem. In the past, this involved ordering patients to fill a prescription and remember to take an antibiotic pill for several days. However, if the patient failed to complete the antibiotic regimen, all of the bacteria may not have been eliminated, meaning the infection could return.

Now, dentists are using Arestin, which is a time-released antibiotic designed to slowly treat infected areas below the gum line. Dentists typically use Arestin immediately after conducting a scaling and root planing procedure, or at a scheduled SRP follow-up visit. Arestin is completely pain-free and frees patients of the need to take an antibiotic pill. By killing the bacteria that caused the periodontal disease, the gums are allowed to heal better. However, by killing the bacteria over the course of several days, Arestin ensures the gum can heal thoroughly without worry of the initial treatment area becoming infected again.

How Arestin Works

Arestin is filled with the antibiotic minocycline hydrochloride. Rather than just apply the antibiotic to the gums, the makers of Arestin encapsulated it in tiny microspheres that are not visible to the human eye. The microspheres are designed to release over time, rather than immediately upon application. That means that Arestin delivers consistent antibiotics directly to the bacteria in the gums over the course of several days without the patient having to do anything.

Many patients appreciate that Arestin does not require filling a prescription or remembering to take a pill twice each day. Furthermore, because Arestin is applied directly to the infected area, it provides a much more localized form of treating bacteria, rather than killing other healthy bacteria that is present in the body.

During the days following an Arestin treatment, patients should avoid eating crunchy foods or ingesting sticky foods, such as honey or candy. Also, flossing should be avoided in the areas treated with Arestin, because it can inhibit the antibiotic’s intended effects. So long as patients follow all instructions after treatment and begin incorporating good oral hygiene into a daily routine, Arestin should help reduce gum inflammation and bleeding, and it should safely eliminate periodontal disease and keep it away in the future.

Who Is a Candidate for Arestin?

Anyone who is suffering from periodontal disease is probably a good candidate for Arestin treatments. However, a dentist may recommend it outside of a scaling and root planing procedure if symptoms of gingivitis or other disease appear at a routine check-up. Additionally, dentists may want to ensure that periodontal disease is gone by recommending follow-up Arestin treatment to individuals who were previously diagnosed and treated for periodontal disease. However, it is only after a consultation with a dentist that anyone can know for sure whether Arestin is right for them.

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