What is Arestin?
Arestin is an antibiotic that is placed in the space between your tooth and gum or "pocket". It is used to help heal the site (area) when more serious infection is present. Arestin allows us to treat just the area involved, instead of using an oral antibiotic, so very little (10%) enters your blood stream.
When we eat, food and bacteria get trapped in the space between your teeth and gums. If these bacteria are left undisturbed, they can multiply and cause infection. Your immune system is designed to deliver certain cells to areas of your body that feel threatened by bacteria. It will send blood to the sites to try to fight the bacteria to protect your body. The gums will then pull away from the teeth, having an even deeper space created (called a "pocket") which will invite more bacteria to enter. If the bacteria are left undisturbed at this point, it can start to invade on the bone, which is the support for our teeth. Bone loss can then start to occur, as the bacteria begin to destruct, which is not reversible. This will lead to mobile teeth and advanced stages of gum disease.
At our conservative dentistry, our first intervention to help these types of patients is to complete Active Therapy - a series of cleanings over a short period of time, (usually bi weekly) where your hygienist will help you rehabilitate your gum tissue and bring you back to optimum health. This allows for your gums to tighten back up and therefore reduce the "pocket" to a depth that is much easier for you to keep clean at home. For the areas that are not responding to the treatment, we will then discuss Arestin as our next option to help fight the bacteria and let the tissue heal.
How Do I Know If I Need Arestin
Each time you come in for your preventive hygiene visit, we will evaluate the current status of your gums. Your Dental Hygienist will measure your gums with an instrument similar to the above picture. This measurement is the space between your tooth and gums. We will share the results with you as we go. Keep in mind that measurements of 1mm-3mm are considered "normal" and anything higher is not. We also look at bleeding. Bleeding when we do this signifies that there is bacteria involvement in the gums and the infection process is in effect. You can still have measurements that are low and have bleeding- this still means there is infection. We will recommend you to complete Active Therapy first and then reevaluate how your gums are. If there are still areas in your gums with bleeding or high measurements, then we may suggest treating these sites with Arestin.
The antibiotic will dissolve so there is no need to remove it.
After your treatment, your Dental Hygienist will discuss what you can do at home to achieve the best results. This includes:
The goal of Arestin is to stop the infection- therefore bleeding, and to possibly get a reduction in pocket measurements.
- Avoid touching areas of your gums that have been treated for 1 week
- Wait 10 days before using floss, toothpicks, or other devices designed to clean between teeth in the areas that were treated with Arestin
- Avoid eating hard, crunchy, or sticky foods such as carrots, taffy, and gum for 1 week after treatment
- Be sure to return for your follow-up appointments, since gum disease can recur and gums need to be checked regularly
If you have any questions about Arestin, ask your Dental Hygienist or Dr. Gray when you come in to see us.
The deeper pockets can be difficult to reach with regular brushing and flossing. The floss will not reach the bottom of the pocket. With Arestin treatment, home care becomes a lot more manageable.
Arestin contains microspheres—tiny particles—that are smaller than grains of sand and are not visible to the eye. The microspheres are filled with the antibiotic minocycline hydrochloride. These microspheres release the antibiotic over time, killing bacteria so your gums can heal better.
What Can I Expect?
When you come in to the office for your Arestin treatment, we will numb the area with anaesthetic. We insert the microspheres into the gum and reach the bottom of the pocket.
More questions? -
Please contact our Newmarket dental office to learn more about this latex free procedure. We would be happy to help!