Category: Periowave Photodisinfection System

A Look Back at McGill’s ‘Kindness in Action’ Dental Mission

A blog by Patricia Martinez

Espita, Yucatán

It is the afternoon of January 28th. An amazing chapter in my life has concluded.

I think that from our arrival in Espita, all of those who integrated the team, were about to realize that we were going to be part of an adventure, but we weren´t aware of what this adventure would mean.

As I look back on my days in Espita, I realize that I had the opportunity to share experiences with people who gave themselves in a personal and professional way to their Mexican brothers.

By trying to support the cause, and without being a dentist, I decided to live the experience God, Espita and this amazing group of professionals gave me, at my fullest by sharing the opportunity to give myself in a region that I had never visited in my own country.

I am not very sure of the exact moment where I found out I was going to be part of the mission, but from the very beginning, I had a need to collaborate in such a noble project; I didn´t even know Dr. Veronique Benhamou, Dr. Gerard Melki or Dr. Bob Clark, but now that I know them, I know that I am very fortunate to have been able to live such a gratifying experience by their sides.

We had some time to visit some of the surroundings, to have fun, to eat delicious Mexican meals, and even to see typical regional dances performed by local kids in honor of our presence. This is where I can reflect on my arrival in Espita. “I’ve been witness of an endless exchange of smiles (that from now on will be a lot healthier), between the people in Espita, and the group of foreigners that are now more Mexican than Mole”. These two groups have been put together with the purpose, to learn from each other.

Thanks to all the people in Espita (Mr. and Mrs. Monforte, Mr. and Mrs. Erosa and Conchi) and the McGill University team (Daniel, Gabrielle, Leslie, Jessica, Hannah, Mike, Sina, Rachel, Laura, Gursandeep, Gerard, Veronique and Bob) that made this beautiful experience possible.

Now I am home, and I see my kids and with them, the opportunity to keep on giving myself for causes that don’t have to be personal, since I find, that in non-personal causes, I can find the inspiration that I didn’t have before my trip to Espita.

It was the afternoon of January 26th of this 2013. On the moment I got on the airplane to Cancún, I never imagined that this particular trip would last me a lifetime.

Read More About the Periowave Outreach Program in Mexico  HERE

A Gingivitis Case Study: Periowave

A recent case study using Periowave completed by Dr Robert Fortier, DDS Cert. Perio, Quebec

Patient Profile: 29-year old female, non-smoker, 7 months pregnant. Exhibiting pregnancy gingivitis with full-mouth gingival hyperplasia caused by combination of hormonal changes of pregnancy and anticoagulation therapy. Generalized 4-5 mm pockets with profuse bleeding on probing (Fig 1.1)

Treatment Protocol: Initial Periowave treatment: Full-mouth SRP and PW treatment was performed along with localized gingivectomy to remove gingival hyperplasia. Cessation of anticoagulant therapy at birth.

Second Periowave treatment: 10 months after initial PW treatment following full mouth debridement.

Result: 10 months after initial Periowave treatment: 8 months after birth and 1 month after cessation of breast feeding, restoration of oral health. Some 4-5 mm pockets with no BOP and reduced inflammation (Fig 1.2).

1 month after second Periowave treatment: Only 3 pockets of 4-5 mm on the lingual of teeth 46-47. All other areas healthy with 1-2 mm pockets (Fig 1.3).
Case and photos provided by: Dr Robert Fortier, DDS Cert. Perio, Quebec

An Advanced Periodontitis Case Study: Periowave

A recent case study using Periowave completed by Leanne Carlson, RDH & RDT:

Patient Profile: 62-year old male with generalized 6-8 mm probing depths accompanied by bleeding and suppuration.

Treatment protocol: Patient refused periodontal surgery so scaling and root planning with local anaesthetic was provided. Periowave treatments at 6-week intervals were also added to the treatment plan.

Result: At 6 weeks there was a reduction in BOP and at 12 weeks no evidence of bleeding. Pocket depths reduced to 3 mm and 4 mm. Patient was put on a 4-month recall and given Periowave treatment as needed.

Case and photos provided by: Leanne Carlson-Mann, RDH

Non-Invasive Dentistry- Periowave Photodisinfection for Gum Disease

For many people, a trip to the dentist is a traumatic experience involving pain and fear.  Fear of pain is a major reason why many people ignore their oral health and allow their gums to recede and bleed.  One Government study (NHANES 1994) found that 70% of the diagnosed patients with gum disease failed undertake treatment.  If gums were visible, such rampant infection would never be tolerated. Who, for instance, would allow a 2 inch pussy wound on their arms or face to remain untreated for years on end? No one. But for many, gum disease is a constant companion because it is relatively painless until the disease reaches very end stages that result in tooth mobility and tooth loss.

Traditional treatment of gum disease involves rigorous scaling and root planing at 3 month intervals and often requires surgical procedures involving slicing the gums open, flapping them back, recontouring bone tissue, adding replacement bone matrix and grafting tissue from the roof of the mouth onto the gums to reclose the area. If there ever is an unpleasant procedure, this is it.  It is hard to imagine that any patient would opt for this type of treatment in the face of less invasive alternatives.

Periowave Photodisinfection is a non-surgical alternative, offering a non-invasive approach to gum disease. It is a pain-free therapy that uses a two-step process involving a photosensitizer activated by a cold (non-thermal) red light. There is no burning or charring of tissue unlike thermal lasers often used for periodontal disease treatment. Instead, there is the power of photodisinfection which can eliminate bacteria and their virulence factors, can inactivate the inflammatory response and can promote innate host immune responses that other therapies are unable to achieve. Unlike antibiotics, there is no resistance generation and can therefore be used as often as needed. With this value proposition, photodisinfection is an important new approach for the treatment of gum disease including peri-implantitis for patients looking for effective, pain-free dental therapy.

An Ounce of Prevention: Periowave

April is Dental Awareness Month, and for most people, this means the state of their teeth. However, teeth are only a part of dental health; soft (gum) tissue and hard (bone) tissue, are also very much part of the equation. Dental Awareness Month is therefore a very good time to focus on the bone and gum tissues that support a healthy mouth.

The Periowave Handheld Laser

There are many reasons why we should take some time this month to learn about periodontitis which most people know as gum disease. Gum disease is the most common human infection, affecting not only our oral health, but our overall systemic health too. It is well worth remembering what the bard once wrote: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Prevention of gum disease is a good example of this lesson, as early intervention can be highly effective and not very involved while postponing treatment can lead to extreme consequences such as loss of teeth, bad breath and the risk of some serious long term chronic health issues like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc.

When not brushed and flossed properly, a bacterial infection might develop where the gums join the teeth. This includes plaque and tartar building up at the base of the teeth, filling up inflammatory pockets. Several adverse effects result since plaque contains bacteria; damage of tissue (teeth and gums), infection, and tooth abscess. Bacteria from the plaque may also travel into the bloodstream and increase the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, and other diseases. This is why regular brushing and flossing is crucial.

Some common treatments of periodontitis include the application of antibiotic microspheres (containing minocycline), antibiotic gel (containing doxycycline), antiseptic chips, anti-microbrial mouthrinse, enzyme suppressants, or oral antibiotics. These forms of treatment rely heavily on patient compliance and can lead to resistance, as in the case of antibiotics. However, there is a non pharmaceutical alternative that has shown, through a numerous clinical trials, significant gains in clinical attachment and overall improvement of oral health. Periowave™ Photodisinfection System is a non-antibiotic approach to the treatment of gum disease, providing a simple solution to complex oral infections.

Periowave™ is a new approach to the treatment of gum disease that harnesses the powerful photodisinfection reaction to inactivate the bacteria and toxins that are left behind after scaling and root planing. The application of Periowave™ is essentially a two step process. The first step is called irrigation, where a specially formulated photosensitizing solution is topically applied to the gums at the treatment site. This photosensitizing solution preferentially attaches to the harmful bacteria and toxins associated with periodontal disease (Figure 1). Next, a thin plastic light guide is placed into the treatment site. The light guide illuminates the treatment site with a specifically calibrated laser light, activating the photosensitizer solution and destroying bacteria beneath the gum line (Figure 2). The entire treatment is painless, creating less stress for both the patient and the dental clinician.

Periowave Treatment

Figure 1

Periowave Treatment

Figure 2

Photodisinfection has many clinically proven advantages, offering superior patient outcomes and better overall oral health. Photodisinfection instantly inactivates host inflammatory factors, eradicates P. gingivalis from dental implants without altering their surface chemistry, and does not generate antibiotic resistance. One trial demonstrated that Periowave™ kills 99.99% of all P. gingivalis biofilm within 60 seconds, the standard duration of treatment. No other therapy can match these results without the risk of damaging human tissue.

Periowave™ is an innovative technology that has the potential to drastically decrease periodontitis in a safe and timely manner. The benefits of Periowave™ include: no patient compliance after the treatment, rapid action, high specificity to disease-causing bacteria and anti-inflammatory impact. The combination of these benefits results in better patient outcomes, including a healthier mouth leading to improved overall systemic wellness. Periowave™ is minimally invasive and has changed the way dentists treat gum disease. Photodisinfection serves the dental clinician both as a therapy for severely diseased gums and as a preventative intervention. Periowave™ is, therefore, the ounce of prevention that patients have been looking for. For a dentist with Periowave™ nearest you, click here.


The Periowave team wishes to congratulate a dear friend and colleague, Dr. George Freedman, on his Irwin Smigel Prize In Aesthetic Dentistry. This award recognizes his outstanding contributions to the field of aesthetic dentistry.

Dr. Freedman, long considered an international leader in cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry, has had quite the career. Here are some of his achievements:

– Founder of Post-Graduate Programs in Esthetic Dentistry in the US, Europe and Asia
– Director and past president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
– Author/co-author of more than 700 dental articles and 12 textbooks
– Held numerous visiting and adjunct positions at top universities
– Delivered more than 600 lectures worldwide

Dr. Freedman is married to Dr. Fay Goldstep, an internationally known speaker and author. Dr. Goldstep sits on the Oral Health Editorial Board (Healing/Preventive Dentistry), and has served on the teaching faculties of the Post-graduate Programs in Aesthetic Dentistry at SUNY Buffalo, the Universities of Florida (Gainesville), Minnesota (Minneapolis).

Join us all in congratulating Dr. George Freedman on this well deserved award!

Which Would You Prefer: Pain-free Periowave Or Painful Gum Surgery?

It is hard to imagine that any patient would prefer to have their gums flapped open, bone recontoured, tissue grafted from their upper palette and gums stitched back up again.  In fact, if faced with this option, I would pay a hefty premium to avoid this ordeal.  A 1994 NHANES study discovered that almost 3/4 of patients who were diagnosed with gum disease did not seek treatment due to fear of pain, cost and embarrassment.  Fortunately, Photodisinfection is a completely pain-free procedure that is significantly cheaper than gum surgery and with better outcomes for the patient.  Finally, there is a minimally invasive and non-antibiotic way to arrest gum disease.  With the indisputable links to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, pre-term births etc., there is no longer a good reason to put off getting back to healthy gums. To find a dentist offering Periowave nearest you, please click here: Find A Dental Professional

Periowave Viene a México!

México siempre ha sido uno de mis lugares favoritos, principalmente por la gente  cálida y vibrante. Hace 20 años tuve la grata experiencia de hacer negocios en México, cuando trabajaba en la gestión de cartera en un gran banco Canadiense. A principios del mes tuve el gran placer de atender a la reciente conferencia anual de la Asociación Mexicana de Periodontología en Guadalajara, Jalisco.

Ha causado gran orgullo en mí que nuestro sistema de fotodesinfección Periowave haya sido aprobado  por las autoridades regulatorias mexicanas y que Periowave acaba de sostener su primeros talleres para especialistas periodontales en México. Nuestro Director de Tecnologías de información, el Dr. Nicolás Loebel presentó cinco conferencias durante los 3 días que estuvimos en Guadalajara.

Read More

Periowave’s Coming To Mexico!

Mexico has long since been one of my favourite countries due primarily to her warm and vibrant people. I have a history with business in Mexico going back over 20 years when I was a portfolio manager for a large Canadian bank. It was with great pleasure therefore that I attended the recent annual Mexican Periodontal Association Conference held in Guadalajara earlier this month.

The reason for my pride was that our Periowave Photodisinfection system had just been cleared by the Mexican regulatory authorities and Periowave was holding its first ever lecture workshops in Mexico at this annual conference for periodontal specialists. Our Chief Technology Officer, Dr Nicolas Loebel, presented 5 lectures over the 3 days that we were there.

For me personally, it was hugely rewarding to see the impact on the level of interest by the attending clinicians who came poised with the anticipated questions related to scientific evidence, supporting clinical data and treatment protocols. For these clinicians, it was Read More

The Use of Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy in the Treatment of Periodontitis

By: Veronique Benhamou, DDS, BSc, Cert. Perio, FPFA, FADI, FACD


It has been known since the beginning of the last century that microorganisms can be killed by various combinations of dyes and light. Ancient Egyptian, Indian and Chinese civilizations used light to treat various diseases, including psoriasis, rickets, vitiligo and skin cancer. In 1901, Niels Finsen used light to treat smallpox and cutaneous tuberculosis and in 1903, he won the Nobel Prize for his work on phototherapy (Nature 2003, Dennis et al) However, the interest in antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy (aPDT) was diminished concurrently with the introduction of antibiotics; it is only in recent years, with the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis that a search for alternative treatments has stimulated a revival of interest on aPDT. It is an effective antibacterial therapy that involves the use of specific-wave light energy to activate a photosensitive compound (photosensitizer), which interacts with locally present molecular oxygen. APDT has the potential to be a powerful alternative to antibiotic therapy, particularly for the treatment of localized infections of the skin and the oral cavity. Microorganisms that are killed by this technique include bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa. Read More

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