As a dental hygienist who is largely out of the OP, a major role I focus on now is making a hygienist’s job easier. My goal is to give dental professionals the information to have the tools to provide the highest standard of care and there are a lot of things that we can equip ourselves with in order to do a better job in a more streamlined manner. I’ve been lucky enough in my career to be able to be exposed to a lot of different technology, a lot of education, as well as some of the top leaders in the dental field. If I use these experiences to gather evidence for all of us on what we should be doing, there is one tool that needs to be in every op. I’d say the biggest game changer out there right now is the Airflow Prophylaxis Master. If this is not something you’re using in your office, I’d 100% recommend looking into it. This equipment provides a higher standard of care and provides a better prophy to your patients while also being much more comfortable. PLUS you get to eliminate your standard prophy angle and paste.
Now, like any new technology, there are some cons and there are some pros. Probably the biggest con that most people struggle with is the price. It’s new technology, it’s an investment but it’s worth EVERY PENNY. If you’re willing to make the investment there are ways to make up for the cost. One thing you will gain by using this machine is time. Once you become proficient at using it you can easily work in other treatments like sealants or maybe fluoride treatments. (Maybe you just even get time to go to the bathroom.)
The other con is that it’s a little messy. It uses water and glycine powder to remove biofilm up to 4mm below the gum line (even further if you use the specialized perio tip), so there is aerosol associated with it. It’s a little messy for your patients with a lot of makeup or if they have beards. They’re definitely going to see it around their mouths after their appointment is over. So, it’s pretty important to learn to manage the water flow and aerosols by finding the right suction that works for you. But once you learn, it is very simple to use.
The pro that trumps any con is the fact that the Airflow improves our standard of care. Our patients get better cleanings in a shorter period of time. This does an impeccable job at removing biofilm in places that we could never even dream of reaching with our classic scalers and prophy angles. By using this in the office we are truly offering disease prevention because of the rate at which it removes plaque. On top of those benefits, it’s ergonomic and it’s painless. When I talk about this to other dental professionals, who aren’t familiar, they believe it is just like a prophy jet. It is nothing like a proxy jet. You're encouraged to hit the areas of soft tissue unlike a prophy jet, and there is no stinging. This is intended to be used at and below the gum line. It is even gentle enough to clean the roof of the mouth and the surface of the tongue!
If this is something that intrigues you, I would recommend reaching out to the manufacturer EMS. Though I love this tech, I don’t work for them and can’t help you get it in your office. But if you go to the site: https://www.ems-dental.com/en/products/airflow-prophylaxis-master, you can find CE and resources on Guided Biofilm Therapy. The coursework that they have is incredibly interesting. I’d 100% recommend those. On top of that, you can actually do a trial at your office with the equipment. Obviously, it’s an investment so you want to be able to try it out and they give you that opportunity. It will change the way you practice and how you approach hygiene, make your cleanings easier, and allow you more time to be able to work in treatment the same day.
Take a peek, I promise this is a game-changer!
Kristin Goodfellow RDH
Kristin is Chief Clinical Officer of OraCare, a practicing Registered Dental Hygienist