South Shore Long Island
Periodontics & Implantology P.C.
Dr. Leslie G. Batnick, D.D.S.
Dr. Lois B. Levine, D.D.S.
Dr. Joo H. Kim, D.D.S.
Diplomates, American Board of Periodontology

Local Delivery of Antibiotics (Arestin)

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection. It makes sense, then, that antibiotics are often part of the treatment plan.

We generally don’t prescribe systemic antibiotics to treat periodontal disease, for a few different reasons. For one thing, bacteria are a part of your body’s natural ecology. They serve several important purposes such as keeping other harmful microbes at bay. When you take antibiotics, you always run the risk of killing off a number of helpful bacteria in addition to the ones causing the illness. This is why antibiotics often have side effects that include diarrhea and yeast infection.

Additionally, you may have heard of “superbugs.” These are bacteria that are becoming resistant to antibiotics. They are therefore difficult to treat and can cause extremely dangerous illnesses. This occurs because as the bacteria are exposed to different types of antibiotics, those that are susceptible die off leaving the immune bacteria behind to reproduce and pass along their immunity.

Using localized delivery of a medication that specifically targets the strains of bacteria that contribute to periodontal disease prevents the need to use systemic antibiotics (which also reduces the risk of systemic side effects) and also prevents bacteria from becoming resistant.

How Are These Antibiotics Placed?

As periodontal disease progresses, pockets form between your teeth and your gums. Bacteria and plaque are then able to collect in the pockets, inflaming your gums and damaging the roots of your tooth and other structures. We often combine antibiotic placement with scaling and root planing, a nonsurgical treatment that removes the bacteria from beneath the gum line and smooths out the roots of the teeth to make it more difficult for them to return. After finishing the treatment, we place the tiny microcapsules into the pocket. The medication releases over time, killing any remaining bacteria and preventing reinfection.

If we are providing ongoing maintenance treatment for periodontal disease, we may place the medication without performing a scaling and root planing treatment first.

Information about Arestin®

The name of the medication we use is Arestin® (minocycline). This formulation was specifically developed for treating periodontal disease and for placement in periodontal pockets. The design of the medication allows us to place the antibiotic precisely where it is most needed. This helps to maximize the benefits while minimizing any possible side effects.

The medicine is released over time and usually works over a period of about 10 to 14 days. Following treatment with Arestin®, it’s important to maintain good home hygiene and regular visits with your doctor to prevent reinfection.

We are periodontal disease specialists here at South Shore Long Island Periodontics & Implantology. Periodontal disease is a serious chronic infection that can do a great deal of damage to your gums, bone, and other connective tissues. If you have an ongoing infection, it’s crucial to stop the disease in its tracks and prevent further damage – which can often only be reversed through surgery.