Saliva Testing and Ph
Tri Plaque Gel
Michelle Strange A Tale of Two Hygienists presents this week’s TIPisode: Quick and easy tips to keep you up to date and presented by the experts in the profession. Now, get ready for your unofficial TIPisode.
Susan Wingrove: Susan Wingrove, Tri Plaque ID Gel.
I’m Susan Wingrove, and I would like to share with you a “wow” product to incorporate into your biofilm-focused care practice: Tri Plaque ID Gel by GC America.
Hygienists, our roles have changed to professionally identify biofilm, assess and record the mature plaque, and professionally remove biofilm for the patient’s overall health.
Today, we need to look at biofilm differently. Research shows us the biofilm left on the tooth surface can initiate an inflammation cascade. Once this cascade starts, the tissue can break down. That can lead to bone loss in natural teeth and around implants as well as affect the patient’s overall health.
The hygienist’s role is key. We need to start testing our patient’s saliva, identifying the pH, keep the oral cavity in a neutral pH, if possible, for our patients; identify and remove plaque and biofilm with products like the Tri Plaque ID Gel by GC; apply fluoride and antimicrobial varnish, and make sure that they’re neutral pH fluoride products; use products with xylitol to attract bacteria — silica paste with xylitol with no pumice is a good example — educate our patients on pH and biofilm, why are we changing up some of our appointment now, doing things a little bit differently; and then explain the link to the oral-systemic health for them.
For our professional in-office appointments, record the patient’s medical and dental history. Really use our assessment tools and identify any risk factors associated with biofilm for our patients. Do a full mouth probing. Make sure that you have the bleeding points identified for any inflammation areas that we’re also going to identify with Tri Plaque ID Gel. Then we’re going to perform a head and neck cancer exam, or the doctor can do that at the time of the exam. Take the designated radiographs that have been prescribed for us. Make sure with implants that you’re taking a radiograph at least once a year for the assessment of a health of the implant. Identify the biofilm in the patients now. Apply the Tri Plaque ID Gel chairside with a microbrush or a swab, rinse it off, review with the patients by color.
The pink and red for the fresh plaque; the dark blue and purple will be the mature plaque that’s 48 hours or older. This is something that they’ve missed brushing, so you can identify where they should be brushing more often and where they’ve missed.
The light blue biofilm identification of the Tri Plaque Gel is the big “wow” part of this product. It shows us where the acid-producing biofilm is located, and it’s a 4.5 pH or lower in that area. If it’s right along the gumline and there’s also inflammation, or around restorations or in between teeth, that could be caries starting.
So, hygienists, record any teeth with a light blue identification area for the doctor to check at the time of the exam. It’s not just your plaque detection to see where the patients miss brushing. This is our quick caries assessment tool to identify the surface that could be the start of decay. Along the margins of the restorations, this is also very critical. Or on the buccal and lingual tissue recession areas as a site of inflammation, which you can then also look at your charting and see if there’s any bleeding in those areas, which means that cascade process is already starting, and the doctor can assess that the root coverage is needed.
Now, with the Tri Plaque ID Gel on the patient’s teeth, we have a roadmap to professionally make sure all the biofilm is removed at each maintenance appointment. After you’ve identified that, you’re going to use your power streaming subgingival air polisher with glycine or erythritol powder, or you’re going to polish with a silica prophy paste to get rid of any of the biofilm professionally. Then you’re going to debride any calculus present, lavage, and/or polish. Apply your neutral pH products then, your fluoride or antimicrobial varnishes or any desensitizing applications. Appoint the patient for their next recare maintenance appointment for at least every six months.
I recommend incorporating GC Tri Plaque ID Gel into your in-office protocol for biofilm identification, a map to professionally remove all the biofilm present, as an essential educational tool to help the patients understand the biofilm risk to their overall health.
Michelle Strange: We hope you enjoyed this week’s TIPisode. Be sure to reach out to our guest experts and let them know how helpful their tips were. Follow A Tale of Two Hygienists on Facebook, Instagram, and head over to ataleoftwohygienists.com and subscribe to our newsletter. You can also email us at email@example.com, and keep listening for more awesome content from your unofficial dental hygiene podcast.