A snap decision

Sept. 1, 2009
Many dental offices are geared to functioning at high speed. Fortunately for them, quick–use products can be prepared and available in a snap of the fingers.

by Karen Kaiser, RDH
[email protected]

Many dental offices are geared to functioning at high speed. Fortunately for them, quick–use products can be prepared and available in a snap of the fingers. Practitioners and patients gladly jump at the chance to use products that perform as promised.

The daily home–care challenge for patients is to brush away what they cannot see, namely plaque. Once the biofilm is highlighted, however, it may be more quickly removed because it is disclosed.

Beutlich Company offers Hurriview and Hurriview II plaque indicating Snap–N–Go swabs. The Hurriview II is a two–tone swab that tints aged plaque a blue color and new plaque reddish–pink. The swabs are both easy to use and neat. Each swab is individually clear wrapped. To disclose, simply snap the cotton applicator to flow the dye. The prefilled swab is a motivational tool when educating patients about improving their plaque removal protocols.

Placing oral X–rays is a snap with a positioning instrument. Taking accurate X–rays can be achieved with devices designed with cone techniques. Many of the digital X–ray systems incorporate mouthpieces for inserting the captured film, which offers assistance in placement. When using reusable phosphorous plates for imaging, these are independently barrier–wrapped against saliva. When a patient bites incorrectly, the plate can be bent and scratched, which then requires a costly plate replacement. Snap–A–Ray Xtra holder has a cushioned bite block to keep the film in place with a softer grip. These Snap–A–Rays are autoclavable. Color–coded cushions make finding the right bisecting angle straightforward.

Holding dental floss is difficult for some patients. To eliminate the need to wrap floss around the fingers, Placontrol, Inc. offers Snap–n–Floss. A white plastic handle separates in half with a snap, with prestrung, ready–to–use, shred–free floss between the ends. The patient holds the “handles” and slips the few inches of floss through the contacts. The patient can maneuver the floss with thumb and fingers by grasping the holders.

Interproximal cleaners are another option for between–teeth care. Sunstar Butler offers Snap–Ons Proxabrush and Snap–Ons Sulcus Brush. Both of these cleaners use a dual–ended handle with replaceable brush ends. The soft grip handle effectively angles for use on buccal and lingual areas, and for cleaning under bridgework and fixed or bonded appliance wires and brackets. The snap–into–place cleaners are coated with antibacterial chlorhexadine to inhibit harmful bacteria from breeding on the bristles between brush exchanges. Because the disposable refill brushes snap on and off, this may be an easier option for patients with dexterity difficulties. Further, when patients have wider spaces or gingival areas requiring more maintenance, brushes designed with these areas in mind give a patient confidence to continue good home care.

Removable appliances can be beautiful enhancements to smiles. Patients desiring smile improvement sometimes must go through extensive, invasive treatment and great monetary expense. Whiter teeth, and better alignment or shape are some benefits of treating a smile. Now an affordable, revolutionary appliance fulfilling a patient's wants can be delivered using Snap–on Smile. A Snap–on Smile can be a more immediate answer to see how cosmetic and restorative treatment can improve a smile. From a hygiene perspective, the custom smile sits on the teeth, does not impinge on tissue, and is removed after meals to clean. Simply brush with a soft toothbrush (without abrasive toothpaste) and a special Snap–on Smile antibacterial gel and soak to freshen the smile.

Make a snap decision. Choosing products that work efficiently fits the needs of a fast–paced dental office and those of our patients too.

The author did not receive compensation for products mentioned.

About the Author

Karen Kaiser, RDH, graduated from St. Louis' Forest Park dental hygiene program in 1994 and currently practices at the Center for Contemporary Dentistry in Columbia, Ill. She has written several articles for RDH and other publications, sits on dental hygiene panels, and is an evaluator for Clinical Research Associates. She can be contacted at [email protected].