Many dental treatments for periodontal disease focus on cleaning the affected area, repairing any damage, and restructuring your physical tooth. Sometimes, though, your teeth need more help. In these cases, your dentist may reach for antibiotics to get help from the whole body. Often, targeted antibiotics are most effective. In these cases, your dentist might choose Arestin® dental treatment.

What is Arestin®?

To understand what Arestin® is, it’s good to know first more about the main condition it treats. Periodontal disease affects just over 47% of adults in the U.S. This progressive gum disease may begin with mild swelling and irritation. If left untreated, gums may begin to recede. Once gums recede, gaps (gingival pockets) form between teeth and gums. This creates an opportunity for bacteria to wedge itself between your gum and tooth. This bacteria begins to multiply, infecting the gum and eventually moving into the bone.

Treatment for periodontal disease works best when it addresses the causes, the symptoms, and the eventual prevention of a relapse.

The first step in a patient’s treatment is usually scaling and root planing. Scaling uses either a metal hand tool or ultrasonic vibrations to loosen tartar and clean out the pockets. Root planing smooths out the tooth’s roots to allow the gums to re-attach to the teeth.

The Arestin® dental treatment is an antibiotic powder that your dentist applies directly to the gingival pockets that form after scaling and root planning occurs. This powder is made of microbeads that contain the antibiotic minocycline. Over time, these beads release minocycline.

Along with scaling and root planing, Arestin® dental treatment is becoming a common treatment approach for patients with periodontal disease. Although dentists have used locally administered antibiotics (LAA) to treat periodontal disease for some time, the use of powdered Arestin® is a new way to deliver antibiotics directly to the affected areas of your mouth.

How does Arestin® help with periodontal disease?

Since bacterial infection causes periodontal disease, this slow-release form of an antibiotic kills bacteria that is already present while also preventing formation of new bacteria. Arestin® effectiveness, when used with scaling and root planing, has been proven in multiple studies.

One major study published by Ray C. Williams, D.M.D., professor and chairman in the department of periodontology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, looked at 748 patients with moderate to severe periodontal disease. The study found that Arestin® was more effective than just scaling and root planing in reducing the depths of gingival pockets.

When Arestin® was used in conjunction with scaling and root planing, study participants saw a 32% improvement in pocket depth reduction. Patients with the most extreme cases of periodontal disease found that Arestin® and scaling and root planing together were 100% more effective than just scaling and root planing.

There were no major reported Arestin® side effects in study participants who used the Arestin® dental treatment. We list minor side effects below.

What are Arestin® post-op instructions?

It is crucial that you follow some simple post-operative instructions when you receive Arestin® dental treatments. Your dentist will go over all of these in more detail, and make sure to follow any additional instructions from them at the time of your procedure.

  • Avoid touching any treated areas after your procedure: You can easily brush the powder away