Inside Dentistry
March 2011
Volume 7, Issue 3

NUPRO® Sensodyne® Prophy Paste

A new option in the treatment of dentin hypersensitivity.

Helping patients keep their teeth for a lifetime, and keeping them comfortable, is one of the increasingly difficult challenges facing oral health professionals today. Though dentin hypersensitivity is not a new problem, the condition is becoming more prevalent across age groups, and is frustrating to treat. Dentin hypersensitivity is reported to afflict 15% to 20% of the adult population, and some studies estimate that number to be as high as 57%. The condition typically affects 20- to 50-year-olds, with the peak incidence occurring between 30 and 39 years of age.1

For dentin hypersensitivity to occur, dentinal tubules must be open at the dentin and pulpal surfaces. Not all exposed dentin is sensitive, however. Factors that contribute to opening the dentinal tubules include gingival recession, which results in root surface exposure, abrasion, erosion, attrition, enamel hypoplasia, and removal of the smear layer. To properly diagnose dentin hypersensitivity, the practitioner should conduct an examination, exclude other potential causes of transient pain, and offer a differential diagnosis.

Treatment options to consider include those performed in-office and at home. There are two types of treatments in each category: Products that occlude the dentinal tubules, and products that interfere with the transmission of neural impulses.2 While over-the-counter products designed to help alleviate dentin hypersensitivity have been available for many years, some patients may need in-office treatments to address localized areas of intense pain.

Products have recently become available to address dentin hypersensitivity during the prophylactic procedure. One product, NUPRO Sensodyne Prophy Paste (DENTSPLY International, Inc, www.dentsply.com) immediately occludes the dentinal tubules while safely and effectively polishing the teeth in a one-step procedure. NUPRO Sensodyne Prophy Paste contains NovaMin with calcium and phosphate ions, which is effective at occluding the dentinal tubules to provide immediate relief of dentin hypersensitivity. In an in vitro study, the mechanism of action of NovaMin in Prophy Paste is demonstrated by the scanning electron microscopy images shown in Figure 1. The tooth surface was prepared and treated for 10 seconds with NUPRO Prophy Paste with NovaMin. The tooth surface was then rinsed after 1 minute. The vast majority of tubules have been occluded following this application.

Many patients suffering from dentin hypersensitivity may benefit from the immediate relief NUPRO Sensodyne Prophy Paste offers. When reviewing the patient's dental history, the clinician should ask about dentin hypersensitivity. If the patient reports experiencing sensitivity, the patient's teeth can be polished with NUPRO Sensodyne Prophy Paste prior to scaling, to make the appointment more comfortable. NUPRO Sensodyne Prophy Paste may be used at any point in a dental procedure. For patients with sensitivity that is aggravated by the prophy procedure, NUPRO Sensodyne Prophy Paste can be used before and after the dental prophylaxis for longer-lasting results. NUPRO Sensodyne Prophy Paste provides the stain and biofilm removal results expected from NUPRO, with the added benefit of immediate sensitivity relief for patients.

To provide patients with additional at-home protection from caries, clinicians can consider dispensing Sensodyne NUPRO Remineralizing Toothpaste with NovaMin (Figure 2). Sensodyne NUPRO toothpaste contains 5,000 ppm sodium fluoride, plus the calcium phosphate technology of NovaMin. As a follow-up to the in-office NUPRO Sensodyne Prophy Paste, this take-home paste provides patients with additional treatment after the appointment. The Sensodyne NUPRO toothpaste may be used as a daily treatment in place of or in conjunction with regular toothpaste. When the tube is finished, patients should be advised to use Sensodyne OTC toothpaste to provide continued relief of dentin hypersensitivity.


1. Cummins D. Dentin hypersensitivity: from diagnosis to a breakthrough therapy for everyday sensitivity relief. J Clin Dent. 2009;20(1):1-9.

2. Strassler H, Serio F. Dentinal hypersensitivity: etiology, diagnosis and management. Available at: www.unlvdentalce.com/courses/1728/PDF/DentinalHypersensitivity.pdf. Accessed December 10, 2010.

For more information, contact:
DENTSPLY International, Inc
Phone: 800-989-8826
Web: www.dentsply.com


The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dentistry.

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