by Karen Kaiser, RDH
Uncovering useful information or a fresh, helpful tip for practicing hygiene more efficiently is worth investigating, especially when the information has an impact on practice productivity. When it comes to trying unfamiliar products, a credible professional recommendation is worth looking into; first-hand experience may be in your favor. On the contrary, acting on bad advice can be pricey when the product just doesn’t seem to work well for the job at hand. When you are privy to a hot tip in dentistry, consider the fact that the promising tidbit might be just what the situation calls for and worth implementing.
A common product in hygiene operatories is the air/water syringe tip. Although most are very standard in design, some syringes go the extra mile to prevent cross-contamination among patients. The Crystal Tip offered by Westside Resources is a disposable tip that locks onto the air/water syringe without a specially fitted adapter to seat the tip. Each disposable tip has an inner design to block the backup of air. This keeps the air and water separate, thus avoiding cross-contamination. The tips are brightly colored and may be purchased in a bulk package in assorted colors.
Keystone Industries offers another colorful tip. This high-volume suction tip comes in a combo package with slotted and unslotted tips. In color choices such as purple, red, yellow, and light blue, the sturdy tip easily acts as an oral retractor when isolation and high fluid management are required. In addition, Keystone recently developed mint-scented HVE tips for a cooler sensation during procedures.
Patients frequently inquire about tips for interproximal plaque removal, especially if they are in full orthodontic hardware. AIT Dental has cleaning tips (no-wire type) that are safe for use on orthodontic, periodontal, and implant patients. The standard Proxi-Tip is purple with a wavy, extended handle that is great for patients who have compromised dexterity. The replaceable white plastic stimulating tip is ideal for delivering medicaments, such as fluoride gels and varnishes, directly into wide interproximal gaps.
AIT also has a Proxi-Tip traveler that is green and half the size of the standard purple handle. The traveler tip has convenient storage for extra tips in the hollow handle end.
When you need an all-in-one travel device to remove trapped food particles, try Denticator’s Tip-A-Dent. This interdental cleaner has a central thumb rest, and each end has a different cleaner. One end is a rubber massager and the other has a brush. The tips can be replaced when worn.
Ultrasonic instrumentation is technology for today. The varieties of tips are much more suited for complete care. Tighter, smaller areas and implants can be cleaned with power scaling tips. Dentsply Professional addresses both of these situations with its THINsert insert tip and SofTip implant scaler insert. The purple THINsert maneuvers around misaligned teeth and works well interproximally. The SofTip has a single-use plastic tip that will not mar titanium-type implants. The tip offers water lavage directly to the implant zone and safely removes biofilm plaque from abutments as well.
When patients ask for dental products for their children, bring them up to speed on the benefits of those with xylitol. Xlear Inc. offers Spry Infant tooth gel, which creates an undesirable setting for bacteria and can be applied orally with a cotton swab if the toddler struggles with toothbrushing. The benefits of the tasty, xylitol-sweetened gel can be a positive motivator to get children accustomed to daily home care.
Whether the treatment calls for cleaning around implants, ultrasonic instrumentation, or just a simple rinse of the oral cavity, there are specially designed tips for the taking. For avoiding cavities, educate your patients on the benefits of xylitol. Act on professional tips and you’ll likely find some new hot products.
The author did not receive compensation for products mentioned.
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.