Prophy Angles, Pastes, Sealants
Inside Dental Hygiene (IDH): What are some of the exciting developments you have seen recently in prophy angles?
Jennifer Stanley, RDH: Prophy cups come in many designs. One can opt for a soft or firm cup. A few shapes and sizes include short, medium, and extra small. There are many different textures such as smooth, inside webbing, and outside ridges that help with stain removal. Some flare to flex slightly subgingival. Ergonomics is a consideration as well. One can choose right-angle or contra-angle designs. Due to allergies, most are no longer made from latex. The biggest recent innovation is the new "splatter-free" designed prophy angles. These are like traditional prophy angles with the addition of a "guard" that extends under the cup to control splatter. It saves time and reduces frustration.
IDH: How about with prophy pastes?
Stanley: Overall, so many different products are available to satisfy both the hygienist's needs and the patient's desires. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Some pastes are designed to target stain, reduce sensitivity, or be non-abrasive to restorations. Others are fluoride-free, gluten-free, and/or flavor-free as many patients prefer to avoid those elements. There are different grit options ranging from extra-fine to extra-coarse. Many hygienists use coarse pastes thinking it removes everything faster, but that is not always the case. In certain instances, it can be harmful. I work in multiple offices and carry a variety of sample pastes. After all, no two mouths are the same.
IDH: Anything new in sealants that people should know?
Stanley: Some materials are hydrophilic to bond even with moisture present. This proves helpful as most hygienists do not have sssistants making it difficult to maintain a dry field. These can be more expensive yet worth the cost in saving time and promoting sealant retention.
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