Updated: Oct 11, 2022
Since using Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) to treat my patients, I have become a better, more holistic clinician. Disclosing each and every one of my patients as the first step and exposing the ‘enemy’ really helps to drive patients' motivation for dental biofilm management and preventive dentistry at home. After all, nothing bonds people faster than fighting against a common enemy!
As a result, I have a deeper connection with my patients. This form of biofilm treatment creates an opportunity to build awareness so that patients are inspired to take control of their own oral hygiene. Moreover, using airflow technology for biofilm removal is painless, time-saving, and minimally invasive.
Read on to learn about this revolutionary biofilm technology and how it can transform you and your patient’s experience in the dental chair!
Guided Biofilm Therapy in the USA is pretty new, but it is quickly gaining traction. Swiss innovators of novel technologies and experts in dental prophylaxis and prevention, EMS dental are the pioneers of GBT. Their goal was to replace traditional methods of dental biofilm removal with a biofilm treatment protocol that guarantees everyone quicker, painless, and stress-free oral care.
Problems with current biofilm and calculus treatment
We are all familiar with biofilm, the layer of sticky substance that builds up and sits on the teeth. As we know, the accumulation of pathogenic biofilm can lead to oral problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. Regular visits to your dentist or dental hygienist are necessary to remove biofilm on oral surfaces before they have a chance to develop into something severe.
Traditional in-office biofilm and plaque removal methods can be long and daunting for patients. It is essential to prevent scratching the tooth surfaces as this can cause mineral loss and leave the surfaces more prone to plaque and staining. However, conventional treatment involves using dental instruments to mechanically remove biofilm and calculus through repetitive, overlapping strokes, which, overtime, can be harmful to the teeth. Moreover, a highly-abrasive polishing paste is used.
At the time, we did not really have much choice. Thankfully, we now have innovations like Guided Biofilm Therapy to professionally remove biofilm in a less invasive and less harmful way that is an overall more comfortable experience for patients.
Guided Biofilm Therapy
We can break GBT down into 8 steps:
The process begins by assessing the teeth, gums, and periodontal tissues, including any implants or peri-implant tissues.
Use EMS biofilm solution to illuminate biofilm and highlight problematic areas so the hygienist can assess which necessary treatments should follow. The color will also serve as a guide for biofilm removal. (It is truly satisfying to be able to see the results)
This also becomes a learning opportunity for the patient about the importance of prevention and the effectiveness of their current oral hygiene routine. Because we can clearly see the problem, it is much easier to explain to patients what is working, what is not, and what changes they may need to make to their home care regimen. It can be a crucial teaching moment to impact change and recommend necessary lifestyle changes.
The next few steps combine three cleaning systems to remove biofilm, stains, and light deposits gently. We can use these ultra-gentle processes to clean the entire mouth.
4. AIRFLOW® technology is used with the AIRFLOW® PLUS powder to clear biofilm on all surfaces in the mouth, including the teeth, implants, restorations, braces, gums, tongue, and palate. Removal of any leftover stains on the enamel is possible with the AIRFLOW® CLASSIC Comfort Powder.
5. Super slim PERIOFLOW® Nozzle with AIRFLOW® PLUS Powder removes biofilm in tight and deep spaces such as the subgingival, periodontal, and peri-implant pockets.
6. PIEZON® NO-PAIN technology with the Perio Slim (PS) instrument combines power and water to remove calculus in an efficient and painless treatment. Use it on the teeth, implants, and restorations without affecting the surfaces. The procedure is much gentler and more precise than typical methods, minimizes sensitivity, is more effective, quicker, and is generally more comfortable for patients to sit through.
7. Next is quality control to ensure the removal of all biofilm and deposits, plus a final screening for interdental caries and lesions which may have become more visible post-clean. This simple but vital step guarantees effective long-term results by ensuring that nothing is overlooked or left untreated. Then use fluoride to seal the teeth and prevent decay.
8. The last step is to set the next appointment or recall, which should be between 3 to 6 months. Regular appointments lead to long-lasting results, which translates to better overall health. Removing deposits may not even be required if the follow-up frequency is adhered to, further shortening the subsequent treatment time.
Guided Biofilm Therapy combines air, jet water, and powder for a quick, gentle, and effective teeth cleaning. Using the Air-Flow Plus powder with erythritol (low-abrasive powder) means there are no scratches, abrasions, or mineral loss to the teeth.
As a hygienist, GBT really is game-changing. I feel confident that I am not harming my patients while helping them achieve a clean, healthy mouth. The process requires minimal instrumentation, is ergonomically easier to perform, and the total operation time is less, which means extra time for other services and my favorite part — patient education.
For my patients, it is a much more pleasant experience overall. They must sit through less mechanical stress, yet they can enjoy satisfactory, long-lasting results. They will also feel more empowered to take charge of their oral hygiene at home.
Guided Biofilm Therapy expands the goal for tooth polishing beyond stain removal purely for aesthetic reasons. Instead, it focuses more on removing biofilm and providing therapeutic benefits to the patient's oral and general health. Ultimately, you will have happy, satisfied patients; and happy customers lead to increased referrals, which means more credibility and business for your practice!