I have the power!

One thing most dentists don't think enough about when treatment-planning is what happens to your crown and bridge case once your patient takes it home?

Louis Malcmacher, DDS

One thing most dentists don’t think enough about when treatment-planning is what happens to your crown and bridge case once your patient takes it home? Let’s say you have just seated 10 beautiful veneers. Now the question is, “How is the patient going to treat these gorgeous wonders once he or she leaves the office?” What toothbrush will the patient use to keep these new restorations clean? How the patient takes care of his or her new teeth will directly reflect on your long-term clinical success. Oral hygiene is so important for the general and cosmetic dental practice.

How often has a patient come back a year later and the beautiful crowns you placed - which were so nicely tucked in under the gingiva - are now a millimeter above the gingiva? Anyone who has ever placed porcelain veneers has seen the stains around them one to two years following treatment. Where do those stains come from? These two very common scenarios can be a direct result of the patient using the wrong oral health after-care products at home.

Here’s another common scenario that has always boggled my mind. You complete periodontal therapy on a patient. When that patient first came into your office, there was muck all over his or her teeth. Now, after a prophy, scaling, and root-planing - and even some periodontal surgery - the teeth are squeaky clean. Three months later, when the patient returns for a periodontal prophy, the build-up is back! Don’t these people get the message? Why can’t they learn to brush their teeth correctly and take care of their restorations and periodontia properly?

As hard as we try, some patients either just don’t get the message, don’t want to get the message, or just aren’t capable of doing a very good job of cleaning their teeth. That’s why our office strongly recommends sonic toothbrushes. Power sonic toothbrushes are truly remarkable devices to motivate patients to learn how to properly clean their teeth. With the fluid dynamics these sonic toothbrushes have, biofilm is literally blasted away from around and inbetween the gums, leaving their mouths much healthier. I can’t tell you how many times over the years patients have come back after they purchased a sonic toothbrush in our office and not only did their teeth look cleaner, but they tell us how much cleaner their teeth feel. Their gums are pink, their periodontium is healthy, and the dentistry that I put in their mouths looks much whiter and brighter with proper after-care.

In our office, we recommend a sonic toothbrush to everyone. If patients have had major dental work, ma periodontal treatment, or any type of bleaching, we strongly recommend a power sonic toothbrush for the best long-term results. Relapse is always an issue with any type of whitening system. This is greatly reduced and the results are greatly enhanced when the patient uses a power brush.

The newest sonic toothbrush on the market is the new Intelliclean System from Sonicare and Crest. This is a partnership of two great companies to provide an outstanding product. The Sonicare toothbrush is well known for its terrific cleaning capacity, and was redesigned a couple of years ago by improving the brush head. Crest has developed a special formula toothpaste to be used with the sonic toothbrushes, and the two companies packaged these two items together, making a terrific new product. Sonicare’s high-speed bristle motion liquifies a specially formulated Crest toothpaste to help it reach and disrupt plaque biofilm with its unique, dynamic fluid action. The Crest toothpaste in its specially designed cartridges is delivered directly to the bristles of the Sonicare brush before and during brushing. This wonderful combination makes for a terrific advancement in oral hygiene.

You should have seen the lines of dental professionals at the Greater New York Dental Meeting at this year’s Sonicare Intelliclean System give-away. There wasn’t a time when I walked by the Sonicare booth when those in line waited less than an hour to receive the product. There is tremendous interest among both dentists and hygienists in recommending this new system to patients.

What you recommend to patients for their oral hygiene makes a big difference in their individual oral health and the long-term success of their dental treatment. Make sure you give your patients specific recommendations for their oral hygiene products. It will result in happier patients and, ultimately, happier dentists.

Dr. Louis Malcmacher is an international lecturer and author known for his comprehensive and entertaining style. An evaluator for Clinical Research Associates, Dr. Malcmacher is a consultant to the Council on Dental Practice of the ADA. For close to two decades, Dr. Malcmacher has inspired his audiences to truly enjoy practicing dentistry by providing the knowledge necessary for excellent clinical and practice-management skills. His group dental practice has maintained a 45 percent overhead since 1988. For details about his speaking schedule, Dr. Malcmacher can be reached at (440) 892-1810 or via email at dryowza@iname.com.

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