Oral prophylaxis is the strongest lever for the long-term oral health of most patients. The team has the basic task of informing patients individually, according to their age and comprehensively as well as practising regular domestic prevention measures with them. Depending on the individual risk, but as a rule twice a year, patients should make use of additional support in the form of professional prophylaxis. The International Dental Show (IDS) in Cologne from 21 to 25 March 2017 offers a comprehensive overview of techniques and product innovations in this section.
The dental research has been investigating, often in conjunction with the dental industry, the reasons for and the course of oral diseases and the options for combatting these - and in the ideal case how to prevent them completely by timely and targeted preventative measures. By working closely together with high schools and dental practices, the industry continually develops improved and novel techniques and products.
Domestic prophylaxis: Classics connect up with digital worlds
In the section of oral hygiene products for use at home, the team can fall back on a vast range of options for advising the patients. For example, manual tooth brushes and electric tooth brushes with finely attuned features are available: classic flat bristles or bristles at various angles and with special functions, vibrating/rotating, sonic or ultrasonic toothbrushes. A large range of different toothbrushes results due to the various age-appropriate executions (i.e. more voluminous handles for older people, special electrical toothbrush applications for denture wearers).
There is also a wide selection of toothpastes with special ingredients to fight tooth decay and periodontitis (i.e. tin halides), to prevent new discolorations (i.e. specially formulated polyphosphates) or bind fine dirt particles (i.e. activated carbon). Certain toothpastes can even contribute towards closing up microscopically small cavities. Age-appropriate formulations include for instance those with a reduced fluoride content for children. In addition to tooth decay and periodontitis, erosions are also a danger for the integrity of the oral tissue. These can be prevented among other things by systematic fluoridation or by tin compounds in mouthwashes. The named product groups are complemented by special interdental brushing systems, dental floss, toothpicks and many other options (i.e. anti-xerostomia gels).
The digital worlds can hardly be underestimated. These include displays, for example as an integral part of electric toothbrushes or as an external function unit for attaching to the mirror. In addition to this there are apps for use in the bathroom, which enable the dentist to subsequently appraise the patient's teeth-brushing behaviour more efficiently and give him the corresponding valuable tips.
Professional prophylaxis: Complete collections and individual product selection
Where the patient's domestic oral hygiene reaches its limits, the team enhances the process with a professional biofilm management. This includes among others the complete or as far as possible removal of all concretions, since they constitute the most frequent and most important plaque retentive factors. At IDS in Cologne the team will find a wide palette of instruments for the hand curettage, as well as sonic or ultrasonic, air polishing devices and air scalers. The success monitoring is carried out using the magnifying glass and tactile movements of the hand curette.
With a wealth of products at their disposal, the team can choose between a basic system (i.e. a collection of a certain provider or a compilation of a specialised dealer) and a completely individual selection or combine both approaches (basic system + selective additions).
Diagnostics: for targeted oral prophylaxis and inter-disciplinary cooperation
The basis for every prophylaxis and therapy is a well-founded diagnosis. Today, this is based on highly-developed methods comprising of imaging and bio-chemical analytic techniques. These include for instance high-resolution intra-oral cameras, camera-supported fluorescence and infra-red techniques as well as analogue and digital X-ray systems (two/three-dimensional) or computer tomography. In addition, specialised manufacturers provide molecular-biological and biochemical diagnostics systems, which can be used to record the spectra of pathogens relevant in certain oral diseases and to analyse a patient’s individual risks. For example, periodontitis germs (i.e. aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, porphyromonas gingivalis, tannerella forsythia, treponema denticola) are detected using either the RNA hybridisation technique or alternatively using conventional PCR tests or real-time PCR tests. Interesting for the practice: Depending on the method implemented, even bleeding or festering pockets are not necessarily a contra-indication for the sample-taking process.
The modern diagnostics turn the dentist more and more often into the central point of contact for complex medical conditions. It is for example a known fact that there is a correlation between periodontal diseases and diabetes or vascular disorders. Thus, an interdisciplinary cooperation between GPs, specialists and dentists is becoming the standard in more and more fields.
The integration of the prophylaxis in the everyday practice routine is always both the job of the boss and team work. The medical biofilm management in the strictest sense includes a sophisticated recall system (optionally with special software support), an empathic way of dialogue holding that is clearly aligned towards compliance and last, but not least motivating experiences for the patient (i.e. "wellness aspects during the professional teeth cleaning", "digital fun factors").
All of this is presented at IDS - the International Dental Show - in Cologne (21 to 25 March 2017). The interested trade audience can benefit from the knowledge and experience of prophylaxis specialists and from many famous companies of the dental industry during the days of the fair. IDS also offers the opportunity to pose targeted questions to the experts and discuss problems with them. The trade fair provides trade visitors with a unique international forum, where expert advice about all aspects of dental prophylaxes can be obtained.
"Prophylaxis is a dental core competence. The International Dental Show, the leading trade fair for dental medicine and dental technology, in Cologne from 21 to 25 March 2017, offers the entire team a unique opportunity: Dialogues with the specialists of exhibiting companies, discussions with experienced users, the entire spectrum of modern prophylaxis concepts, current diagnostic, prophylaxis and therapy trends in one location - every two years it is a unique experience worldwide, which I am personally totally looking forward to," emphasised Dr. Markus Heibach, Executive Director of the VDDI (Association of German Dental Manufacturers e.V.).