Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Innovative Device in Subgingival Air Polishing

With the advent of air polishing devices designed for use with low-abrasive powders, dentists and dental hygienists can obliterate supra- and subgingival biofilm from enamel, exposed root surfaces, and restorative materials efficiently and comfortably.

Air polishing devices with sodium bicarbonate powders are effective stain and biofilm removal on enamel, and highly effective for biofilm removal in pits and fissures prior to sealant placement. But caution must be taken to avoid exposed root surfaces and most restorative materials, which limits their use on periodontal maintenance patients.

Which air polishing devices are currently designed for low-abrasive powders? The technology is rapidly changing in this area, but two companies that have air polisher with substantial versatility are Hu-Friedy/EMS and Acteon.

Hu-Friedy/EMS is a leader in subgingival air polishing as it was the first to provide scientific studies supporting devices with low-abrasive powders for managing biofilm as early as 2003. Hu-Friedy/EMS makes a variety of air polishing devices, but two of their most versatile devices warrant a closer look.

The Hu-Friedy/EMS Handy 3.0 Premium Package is new to the market this year. It includes the PERIO-FLOW handpiece with disposable subgingival tips that are flexible to adapt to deep periodontal pockets, and the PLUS handpiece, which removes biofilm supragingivally and up to 4 mm subgingivally. The Handy 3.0 Premium Package is a portable device that connects directly to the dental unit and uses low-abrasive powders such as glycine or erythritol and has two interchangeable dental handpieces.

Another innovative device in subgingival air polishing is Acteon's Air-N-Go Easy. This is a portable device that connects directly into the dental unit and has four different nozzles for different clinical needs. It has the versatility of sodium bicarbonate or calcium carbonate supragingival powders and glycine powder for supra- and subgingival use.

The four nozzles are the Supra nozzle using sodium bicarbonate or calcium carbonate powder for supragingival use, the Perio-Easy nozzle using glycine powder for subgingival biofilm removal in shallow pockets, the Perio-Maintenance nozzle using glycine powder supragingivally, and the Perio nozzle using glycine powder for deeper periodontal pockets.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Some Information about Dental Air Polisher

Like many dentist equipment in dentistry, air polishing has changed since the late 1970s. There are several new air polisher designs and new abrasive powders, and we now have the ability to use air polishers subgingivally. Sodium bicarbonate was the original abrasive powder used, but newer abrasive powders include glycine, calcium carbonate, calcium sodium phosphosilicate, aluminum trihydroxide, and erythritol. These additional powders give us more choices for our patients' individual needs.

Patients must be selected carefully, as there are some contraindications for use. Typically, individuals with communicable disease, upper respiratory disease, compromised immune systems, sodium-restricted diets, polishing powder ingredient allergies, and contact lenses are not candidates for air polishing. However, sodium restriction is less of an issue now that there are powders without sodium.

Indications for use of an air polisher have typically included extrinsic stain removal, cleaning around orthodontic appliances, and to clean occlusal surfaces before placing a sealant. Now there are indications for use on exposed, hypersensitive dentin and periodontal pockets.

Dental hygienists have a wide variety of experiences with and opinions about air polishing-everything from loving it to hating it. Patients likely have similar opinions depending on the type of device used, the powders used, and the expertise of the clinician providing the air polishing. New advancements in this technology have some pleasant benefits for you and your patients.

With the advent of air polishing devices designed for use with low-abrasive powders, dentists and dental hygienists can obliterate supra- and subgingival biofilm from enamel, exposed root surfaces, and restorative materials efficiently and comfortably.

The benefits of air polishing for the dental professional include less operator fatigue, less time involved than the traditional polishing technique, and improved access to difficult-to-reach areas. Benefits to the patient include less time in the chair, less "scraping," excellent stain removal, reduced dentin hypersensitivity, and improved periodontal status.

Training regarding indications, contraindications, advantages and disadvantages is imperative for use of the air polisher. When used by a properly trained clinician, the clinical benefits as well as patient safety increase. But today, as an educator, I consider dental hygiene curriculum and wonder why not much has changed in regard to training students to use air polishers. The air polishers themselves have evolved, the list of uses has increased, and yet, in many schools, our students are lucky if they learn how to use one.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Why Would a Dentist Want an LED Curing Light

Recently, a new concept to dentistry, the LED, has entered the market. There have been significant sales promotions from the several companies selling LED lights. As a result of the promotions, dentists appear to be more confused than before.
In the last few years, there has been an emphasis on enhanced conventional curing lights to provide greater curing intensity and faster cure. The most obvious way this has been accomplished is by the use of light guides that diminish in size as they exit from the curing light.
LED dental curing lights have some apparent advantages:
        1. Diodes are long-lasting without the need for frequent replacement.
        2. They generate no heat during curing.
        3. They offer a moderate curing time of about 10 to 20 seconds.
        4. They are quiet in operation. They are cordless, small and lightweight.
Of course, they also have some disadvantages:
        1. Their technology is new to dentistry, and the concept still is evolving.
        2. Their curing time is slower than that of PAC lights and some enhanced halogen lights.
        3. Their batteries must be recharged.
        4. They cost more than do conventional halogen lights.
LED choices
The use of CPQ is very common by most manufacturers, but there are a few adhesive materials that use a different photoinitiator. Because of that, and the specifics of LEDs, there’s potential for a material to not be cured by a device designed to work only with CPQ. Fortunately, because LEDs can be created to produce different wavelengths, there are now several devices that can cure every resin-based material on the market. (To find out which photoinitiator your materials use, be sure to ask the manufacturer.)
All general practitioners need curing lights for myriad curing tasks. Light-cured resin has become the state of the art during the past 25 years. It seems logical that the light-curing concept would have matured during that time, but it has not.
Without question, light-curing is desirable, but practitioners are confused about the most appropriate light-curing concept to use in their practices. Because of this confusion, some practitioners have continued to use older lights in spite of the advantages offered by some of the newer ones. The light-emitting diode, or LED, concept is challenging more established modes of curing, and some dentists are buying LED lights. And many practitioners who have purchased the even faster plasma arc curing, or PAC, lights are not willing to go back to the slower LED light-curing method.
The choice about which type of curing light to buy should be based on which of the various lights’ features suit the specific practitioner best. As a dentist, you should know different dental equipment clearly. Then you can make the best choice.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What to Expect During Periodontal Visits

It is especially important to see a periodontist if you experience any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, but regular periodontal examinations should be part of everyone’s routine oral health care regimen. An evaluation sometimes may be the only way to detect periodontal disease. You should also visit the periodontist regularly if you have diabetes, heart or respiratory disease, osteoporosis, malnutrition, or smoke or use tobacco; all dental lab supplies  have been linked to periodontal disease.

Your first periodontal visit will consist of an evaluation. You will be asked about your dental/medical history. If you have medical problems, advise your periodontist, since many diseases can affect your mouth and gums.

You also should list any medicines you take, including oral contraceptives, because certain medications can adversely affect your gums or have contraindications for antibiotics. Antihypertensive medication can often cause xerostomia (dry mouth) that can accelerate decay and periodontal breakdown.

If you smoke, you will be advised to quit, particularly if you are undergoing gum surgery. Smoking, which increases the risk of periodontal disease, also worsens the disease if you already have it. It can also impair the healing process.

X-rays will be taken. A periapical X-ray – which reveals the entire tooth from crown (top) to the end of the root in your jaw – shows the amount and pattern of bone loss around each tooth. A panoramic radiograph – an X-ray by dental x ray machine portable of your entire mouth – shows other important skull structures, including the jaw joints.

Once the examination is complete, your periodontist will develop a treatment plan based on your individual wants and needs. Typically, following treatment you will be placed on a periodontal maintenance program.

In addition to a proper oral hygiene regimen of daily at-home brushing and flossing, this treatment plan will include regular follow-up examinations and cleanings, which are essential for the continued health of your mouth and gums. If you have gingivitis, many periodontists recommend visits every six months for a deep cleaning. For more serious conditions, see your periodontist every three months.

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Monday, November 7, 2016

To Help You Make the Dental Handpiece More Profitable

The dental appointment always comes at the wrong time, it's an unfamiliar environment that potentially can cause pain, and potentially your insurance company (if there is any) doesn’t cover all the costs.  Part of being a successful business owner is recognizing obstacles by appealing to all your patients. Then what should you do to make your dental practice more profitable?

1. Be Organized and On Time: No one likes to wait, especially in a dentist office.  In today’s society, everyone is busy, so respecting your patients' schedules will go a long way. If your appointments start stacking up, then a simple courtesy phone call or text alerting your patients of a delay will display your office professionalism and your respect towards their schedules. 

2. Make sure your appointment time frame is realistic and your team is preforming within the allot timeframe. A typical hygienist appointment should run no longer than an hour, so scheduling appointments for the amount on staff and staggering appointments will ensure a smooth workflow and no empty folding dental chairs.  This will help maximize your patient load and increase your revenue.

3. Maximize Your Team: Let’s face it, employees are an expense but you can’t do it without them. The hygienists are the ones who spend the most time with the patients, and they know the working of the practice and set the tone when dealing with the patients. Happy employees will go above and beyond the call of duty by ensuring the demands of the patients are met.

4. Don’t Let Them Get Away: Pre-scheduling appointments is good business practice.  Having the front-desk personnel pre-schedule future appointments fills the books and overcomes the challenge of forgetting to schedule the next appointment. 

5. May the Enforcer Be With You: When cancellations occur (and you know they will) you lose money; it’s that simple.   Making sure your appointment books stay full is a tricky job at best. Make sure your front desk personnel knows your policies on cancellations and they are enforced.  Additionally, posting your cancellation policies in conspicuous places around your offices will alleviate any miscommunication between you and your patients. 

6. Top of Mind Awareness: Top of mind awareness is a very powerful marketing concept. Ever notice that most restaurants love to provide doggie bags to all customers, and some even have their logo printed on the bag. This is a brilliant marketing concept that restaurants figured out a long time ago. They want their customers to think of them when they eat those leftovers from the doggie bag.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Value of HYbands Designs

We understand that the doctors we work with desire and, quite frankly, count on our codiagnosis during recall visits, especially regarding restorative needs. In fact, patients will often turn to us, after the doctor has left the room and ask, "Do I really need that crown?"

Using an dental intraoral camera, in my opinion, is the most expedient and effective way to help a patient visualize his or her problem and understand the treatment needs. Over the last decade, I have evaluated and used many intraoral cameras.

In Perio mode, the wavelength emitted by the LED curing lights highlights the different tissues represented by chromatic mapping. In other words, gingival inflammation will appear in shades of pink to deep magenta; new plaque will appear white and grainy, and old plaque in shades of yellow and orange.

HYbands designs and creates headbands in a rainbow of colors, plaids, and prints for dental professionals. Founder Ashley Church started HYbands when she was in dental hygiene school; thus the name. After an overwhelmingly positive response, what started out as a dental hygiene fundraising project quickly turned into a business. In addition to creating a recognizable dental brand, HYbands provides a stylish and functional product. As a way to give back to the dental community, Ashley and her sister/partner, Natasha, have partnered with Smile Train, an international children's cleft lip and palate charity to fund a minimum of 20 cleft surgeries this year.

Smile Train has a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but, more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing, and speaking. Cleft surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Smile Train's sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85-plus developing countries to provide 100% free cleft repair surgeries in their own communities.

In addition to the headbands, be sure to check out HYsocks and medical bands. And remember, by purchasing HYproducts you are helping to improve the lives of children all over the world.

As registered dental hygienists, we play an integral role in the diagnosis and treatment planning of both the restorative and periodontal needs of our patients. As health-care professionals, we recognize that patients value and trust our opinions and advice when it omes to their oral health care.