Jill, The company I work for is encouraging the use of two products from Dental Herb Company. They are Tooth and Gum Tonic for a take home product for our patients, and Under the Gums Irrigant for in-office irrigation when doing perio therapy. I have looked for independent research on these products to learn if they're effective and have found nothing helpful. I also looked up information on efficacy of the active ingredients and have found mixed information, mostly obsolete. Can you advise as to whether this is a useful product for patient care? Sincerely, Veronica F. Jones, RDH Louisville, KY
Dear Veronica - excellent question! It looks as if you have already done all the groundwork needed to answer your concerns. When reviewing the research check to see the types of studies conducted: were they case reports or randomized controlled clinical trials? Were they anecdotal reports of clinicians' experiences, meaning that they were mostly opinion-based? What's important to keep in mind is that while research is scant or not high quality, you may have some patients who respond favorably to the products. Of course, there will also be patients who won't respond. Bottom line: compare the available research for these products with the available research on other antimicrobial agents. You can then make an educated decision on what would be best to use and share that information with your employer.
P.S. Also do some investigating into the use of in-office irrigation as an adjunct to scaling and root planing. Research shows the added benefit, if any, is minimal.