May 2021
Volume 42, Issue 5

Arkray’s SillHa Helps Dentists Fight Disease Through Salivary Analysis

One screening, four steps, 5 minutes.

Brian Nový, DDS, says that may be all it takes for a clinician to become a saliva-screening enthusiast like him.

Nový is the Chief Dental Officer of the Massachusetts Public Employees Health and Welfare Trust Fund, and also President of the National Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) Coalition. Nový's practice was named the American Dental Association's Adult Preventive Care Practice of the Year in 2009, and that, he says, is when he earnestly began exploring the idea of treating caries medically rather than with the "old, standard drill-and-fill" approach.

"I came to learn so much about the possibilities of predicting and preventing disease through salivary chemistry," Nový says. "When I learned about Arkray's SillHa Oral Wellness System, I was very interested in seeing how a salivary-testing platform could transform clinical practice even more and how it could help patients."

In 2018, Arkray USA launched the SillHa Oral Wellness System, which provides a quick and simple way to utilize saliva analysis in dental practices, Nový says. SillHa uses a small saliva sample to provide clinical assessment in three areas: tooth health, gum health, and oral cleanliness, produced in a patient-friendly report with low, moderate, or high ranges, according to the company.

Nový's practice was one of the first five practices in the United States to use SillHa. "Working with my colleague at the time, a brilliant young dentist from Harvard University, Dr. Erinne Kennedy, we started testing every single patient with SillHa," he says. "We were amazed with the data that the SillHa Oral Wellness System provided and how it transformed our protocol and preventive treatment plans. We found that we could almost always predict what we were going to actually see in the mouth by looking at the SillHa report (before even meeting the patient)."

Nový says that he has seen patients completely change their approach to oral health thanks to a SillHa "report card."

"Patients are fascinated by all the information they learn through the report, as most have never heard that cavities are actually contagious (due to decay-causing bacteria). It also delights younger patients with a normally ‘naughty' activity: spitting," he says. "Kids are very familiar with report cards, and this is a fun way to involve the whole family in the dentist visit. Patients of all ages appreciate the data and personal interaction with the dentist to help them plan their treatment based on the results."

As someone who has dedicated the past 14 years to the CAMBRA Coalition and its mission, Nový believes SillHa is an excellent system for dentists and hygienists who want to share education on the management of caries, the disease that causes cavities.

"SillHa reports give my hygienists and assistants the opportunity to dialogue with the patient," he says. "It's a very engaging tool for them to begin the discussion of improving oral health and habits for patients with many types of conditions."

And through all of the ups and downs of COVID-19 this past year, Nový says the pandemic actually brought something good to clinicians interested in utilizing saliva screening. "(COVID) actually helped make the public cognizant of the fact that saliva can be used for disease risk assessment, and we can now use that technology in dental practices and get immediate results," he says. "This will be the norm in the future, and dentists can easily get their practice started now with the SillHa system."


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