PreViser Disease Risk and Analysis Software
Not all people are equally susceptible to all diseases. Some individuals get heart disease while others get cancer, some women carry to term while others have premature babies, and some breast cancer patients can be treated with a simple lumpectomy while others require a full mastectomy plus chemotherapy and radiation. Individuals each have their own unique set of factors that makes them high risk or low risk for any specific disease—some hereditary or genetic, some environmental, and some lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise, or smoking.
Modern medicine can identify and give weight to risk factors that can help determine the chances that an individual will get a disease and what the course of that disease will be, given various treatment options.
The Difference Between Risk and Disease State
Consider two men, both age 22, with healthy hearts. One of them eats sensibly, exercises, and doesn't smoke. The other eats poorly, drinks, smokes, is sedentary, and has high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a family history of heart problems. The second young man is at much higher risk of future heart disease than the first, but can reduce his risk by changing the things he can change (although his genetic predisposition will always put him at higher risk than the first young man).
Consider a 65-year-old individual with heart disease who needs cardiac bypass. If he quits smoking, begins to exercise, loses weight, and reduces his cholesterol, this individual would still have a high disease state but would be at a reduced risk of future disease if he treats his current disease.
Smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, , and certain genetic predispositions are all risk factors for heart disease. By identifying these risk factors and controlling the ones that can be controlled, an individual can reduce his or her risk of heart attack.
For years, gum disease was treated the same way in all people. Everyone received the same treatment, regardless of the severity of their disease state, and it was assumed that everyone was at the same risk of tooth loss if their gum disease was untreated. Of course, not all people are at the same risk for periodontal disease, and not all patients will suffer identically from it. Periodontists observed some patients who did not receive treatment for gum disease and who did not experience further bone loss. Other patients would receive seemingly adequate treatment and still experience bone loss to the point of tooth loss. These results made it a priority to discover a way to evaluate patients and determine proper levels of treatment for each one.
That is where PreViser software comes in. PreViser software was engineered to analyze an individual's risk for periodontal disease and assess his or her current disease state. Patients get a risk score of 1–5 and a current disease score of 1–100. Patients with a risk score of 5 are 10 times more likely to lose teeth than patients with a risk score of 2.
How PreViser Risk and Disease Analysis Software Benefits Our Patients
PreViser helps us more accurately manage a patient's gum disease in a number of ways. Periodontal patients receive a PreViser analysis as part of their new patient evaluation. This helps Dr. Scharf tailor treatment to an individual's specific needs rather than relying on a generic "one size fits all" approach. When presented with the available treatments, patients can see what the expected outcome of that treatment will be with respect to their current disease and risk of future disease.
PreViser is also a valuable tool after active therapy is completed and patients move into the maintenance phase of periodontal therapy. Maintenance patients receive a PreViser report at each visit. This allows monitoring of their progress to see whether they are controlling their disease or whether something has occurred to increase either their disease or their risk score.
PreViser also helps in determining the best place for a patient to have periodontal maintenance. People with low risk scores can safely have periodontal maintenance at their dentist's office. Patients with high risk scores (despite low disease scores after treatment) are usually best managed at the periodontist's office (just as people with heart disease see a cardiologist rather than their family doctor to control their heart disease). Patients with midrange risk scores are usually good candidates for alternating the periodontal maintenance between their dentist and a periodontist.
Of course, PreViser software is only a tool—not a replacement for Dr. Scharf and his expertise regarding your care. People come from New Jersey and Connecticut to Montauk for the expertise that Dr. Scharf brings to their care. Dr. Scharf uses PreViser as one important tool in the overall management of your periodontal disease. Patients tell us that they feel as though they are in an office with the latest technology, but one whose primary emphasis is on treating them personally, individually, and respectfully.