by Lory Laughter, RDH, BS
February is devoted to showing admiration for others. In that spirit, I would like to take this opportunity to send notes of appreciation to companies whose products make my clinical life more pleasant. Even those who make their living outside the operatory realize clinical practice is the focus of all things dental, and quality products have a huge impact on how care is delivered.
The products I choose for my patients must meet some basic requirements such as ingredients and technology based on science, clinical studies to support use, and, most importantly, patient acceptance. Once I make a recommendation, there must be clinical evidence of efficacy within my practice. An experienced-based decision is not only viable — it's vital.
GC America offers two items that made my list — MI Paste/MI Paste Plus™ and Fuji Triage™. Glass ionomer sealants offer easier placement, better occlusal wear, and continued fluoride release into the tooth structure. Simply put, this technology makes sense. I've been placing Fuji Triage sealants for several years with good retention results. I still prefer the pink material in young patients so the child and parent can see it.
MI Paste Plus leaves the shelf almost as fast as we order it. My experience with patients who use this product shows a decrease in caries activity, less dentinal sensitivity, and an improvement in stain accumulation. The biggest impact MI Paste/MI Paste Plus has had in my practice is the healing of white spot lesions. It took a couple of test cases and many photos to convince the dentist of this amazing treatment option. Patients are thrilled with the results, and if they like it they will use it!
Keeping with the caries and desensitization theme, the next company I appreciate is Zenith Dental with ClearShield Fluoride Varnish™. Several fluoride varnishes have passed through my operatory, but ClearShield is the one I'm most impressed with. This 5% sodium fluoride varnish flows nicely interproximally, goes on clear, and is guaranteed to taste better than other brands or your money back. Again, patient acceptance is important and everyone from young children to the elderly likes this product. Adults appreciate the desensitizing properties of the varnish, and children like being able to drink water right away.
TheraSol has been a favorite of my patients for years. Perhaps the biggest impact I have seen with TheraSol is an off label use. Several residents from a ranch for adults with developmental disabilities brush and swish with this rinse every day. Since starting this routine, our practice has seen a decrease in gingival inflammation, an improvement in halitosis issues, and compliance beyond our expectations. Patients notice less bleeding when brushing and often show me how great their mouth looks — whether we're in the office or a department store.
Other products on my list include Arestin®, Hu-Friedy EverEdge®, Squigle Enamel Saver Toothpaste, BreathRX tongue spray and scraper, Butler Summit® plus Toothbrush, and OraScoptic (loupes and DK system). In fact, expressing my appreciation far exceeds my allotted space. Many companies support dental hygiene as a profession and deserve to hear our words of praise. My list here is by no means complete and likely differs from my peers' lists. Show your appreciation by recommending those items that enhance your clinical experience.
I would be amiss if I did not mention Nuvora — the maker of Dentiva and Salese. These lozenges raise oral pH, fight bacteria, freshen breath, and help dry mouth symptoms. SuRe Technology is going to change the way some medicines are delivered in the future. Plus, the company was smart enough to realize the importance of having an RDH on the team.
Disclosure: Lory Laughter is the Dental Relations Manager for Nuvora Inc.