For many people, getting a professional teeth cleaning is dreadful.
Although the scraping, grinding and polishing is necessary to remove tartar and plaque buildup in order to maintain a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile, the procedure can be painful and lead patients to neglect this vital aspect of oral hygiene.
However, according to Dr. Joe McCartin, a dentist in Mt. Greenwood, the use of Swiss technology has changed all that.
The AIRFLOWProphylaxis Master was created for professional teeth cleaning in conjunction with Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT). McCartin said GBT is minimally invasive and reduces the need for sharp instruments such as picks and scalers as well as sonic/ultrasonic instruments. GBT is safe, effective and gentle to teeth and soft tissues, orthodontics, implants and restorations.
Prophylaxis is the medical term for preventive healthcare and consists of measures taken for disease prevention. Guided Biofilm Therapy is based on clinically proven technologies invented by Electro Medical Systems (EMS). GBT was developed with highly respected and experienced periodontologists, caries specialists and dental hygienists, and it combines professional cleaning at a dentist’s office with proper dental care practiced at home.
“There is no better way than Guided Biofilm Therapy,” McCartin said, “to keep harmful biofilm under control.”
McCartin has served local residents for over 35 years at his office at 10401 S. Kedzie Ave. He said dental biofilm is the sticky white plaque that forms on teeth and around gums. Plaque needs to be removed because it can harden to tartar, also known as dental calculus, which can only be effectively removed by a dentist or hygienist.
“Dental biofilm is insidious,” McCartin said. “You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. You can’t feel it. But, it is the main cause of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss.”
The bacteria in biofilm damage the teeth and supporting structures such as the gums and bone that hold teeth in place. In addition, the bacteria can also find their way deeper into the body and cause serious diseases over time. Studies have found that dental biofilm may lead to diabetes as well as cardiovascular, respiratory and other common diseases.
Dental professionals know that traditional cleaning may be an unpleasant experience for patients. Removing calculus with hand instruments can often be painful, and dental surfaces and implants can often become scratched.
Unfortunately, for many practitioners, the old-fashioned method has not changed much since the 1960s. Most continue to use sharp instruments to scrape deep below the gumline.
More importantly, a study conducted by a consumer advocacy foundation in Germany revealed significant shortcomings in conventional professional teeth cleaning. The old method using brushes, “polishing paste” and hand-held instruments only removes 50 percent of biofilm in areas that are difficult to reach. Removing no more than half of the biofilm is unacceptable because the infection continues to progress.
However, McCartin is among the growing number of dentists who are now using GBT and the AIRFLOWProphylaxis Master.
Professional teeth cleaning with GBT is like a wellness spa experience, McCartin said. The treatment is painless and does not damage the teeth. GBT identifies and removes up to 100 percent of biofilm.
“Guided Biofilm Therapy is today’s game-changer,” McCartin said. “It has nothing in common with the old dental-hygiene methods from the ’60s, and I’m proud to be using it.”
GBT is the result of years of clinical research conducted by Switzerland’s EMS. Since 1982, EMS has provided dental practices all over the world with AIRFLOW technology to remove biofilm in a minimally invasive manner.
The state-of-the-art GBT completely removes biofilm, discolorations and calculus. An important step in GBT is making biofilm visible on teeth and gums. This is called “disclosing.” Only when biofilm has been made visible can it be removed completely.
With the old methods, disclosing is rarely used. But with GBT, a dye is used to color the plaque and guide the practitioner in removing the biofilm and preserving the natural tissues. Disclosing delivers unequalled treatment quality because it clearly shows whether all biofilm has been removed.
The AIRFLOWProphylaxis Master received the 2018 Good Design Award, one of the most important design awards in the world, from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, which praised it as a “high-tech design masterpiece … already the talk of the town in modern dental practices.”
The award said that GBT “is on its way to become the gold standard.”
McCartin was born and raised on the South Side. He is an alumnus of St. Margaret of Scotland Elementary School and Marist High School. He earned his bachelor’s of science degree from Marquette University and his doctor of dental surgery degree from the Marquette University School of Dentistry. In addition to numerous other affiliations, he is a Fellow with the Academy of General Dentistry.
McCartin said his patients are thrilled with GBT because it’s effective and pain-free.
“It’s the best way,” he said, “to keep your teeth healthy and your smile beautiful.”