Initial Treatment 1—

10.1055/b-0034-56521

Initial Treatment 1—

• Creating Conditions that Enhance Oral Hygiene

  • Tooth Cleaning—Supragingival Scaling

  • Creation of Hygiene Capability

  • Gingivitis Treatment

Active professional treatment by the dentist or dental hygienist should begin even as oral hygiene instruction, patient motivation and monitoring of home care are ongoing. The patient cannot be expected to improve her/his oral hygiene if the preconditions for optimum home care are not simultaneously created (creation of hygiene capability). Professional prophylaxis is particularly important in this regard, as well as elimination of any plaque-retentive areas (niches) that represent harbors for bacterial accumulation.

The procedures described below are part of the first phase of initial therapy. Together with oral hygiene by the patient, these procedures comprise the only treatment necessary for gingivitis, and are important prerequisites in periodontitis therapy as well.

The following pages provide details concerning:

  • Instruments and materials, and their uses

  • Supragingival tooth cleaning and calculus removal

  • Removal of iatrogenic irritants (niches)

  • Reduction of naturally-occurring plaque-retentive areas

  • Subgingival plaque and calculus removal from pseudopockets and shallow periodontal pockets

The various treatments performed during the first phase of initial therapy cannot be strictly separated from each other, either in the presentations that follow in this book, or in the practice of dentistry. At a single appointment, for example, calculus removal, elimination of amalgam overhangs, minor odontoplasty and occlusal equilibration may all be accomplished.

The subgingival treatment of root surfaces (second phase of initial therapy) may also intersect with the first phase. In clinical situations that represent the indistinct transition from gingivitis to incipient periodontitis, i.e., when pockets are shallow, supra- and subgingival scaling often can be performed simultaneously.

On the other hand, scaling and definitive root planing in deep pockets and eventual soft tissue curettage must be relegated to the second phase of initial therapy. These procedures are often categorized as actual surgical therapy.

Supragingival Tooth Cleaning—Power-driven Instruments … and their Use

The removal of all stains, deposits and concrements comprises the first phase initial therapy. It is also an important preventive measure in the healthy periodontium, and the most significant post-operative measure following completion of periodontitis therapy. Thorough tooth cleaning is performed during each recall appointment (maintenance phase, p. 309).

The prevention/treatment/maintenance therapy trio “without end” is the sole responsibility of the dental hygienist. It also demands rationalization, standardization and work simplification, as well innovation in the development of new instruments (ultrasonic devices, Air-Scaler etc.).

Difficult-to-remove stains resulting from medicaments (e.g., chlorhexidine), tobacco, beverages (tea, wine) and foodstuffs as well as dental plaque can be removed using instruments that provide a water-powder spray (e.g., Cavitron-Jet). The powder that is used in the water spray must be minimally abrasive for dentin and restorative materials (Iselin et al. 1989). Furthermore, the spray should never be directed perpendicular to the tooth surfaces, and should usually be used only on enamel, with constant movement of the tip. Such devices do not guarantee perfect cleaning in interdental spaces or niches. The spray with normal abrasive powder should not be directed into pockets. With the new, “mild,” minimally abrasive agents and fine tips, effective cleansing can be achieved, in certain circumstances, even subgingivally (e.g., glycine powder from Espe, with the EMS Airflow Handy 2; p. 282; Petersilka et al. 2002).

520 Powder-Water Spray Device (Cavitron-Jet) The powdered abrasive consists primarily of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) which can remove tough deposits and stains when used with a water spray. The water-powder spray requires use of a high-speed evacuator. Right: “Jet Shield” This “mini-evacuator” is affixed directly to the working end of the Cavitron-Jet.
521 Stabilized Power System (SPS) with Ultrasonic Scaler Tips (Cavitron Thru Flow Inserts—TFI) In modern instruments, the water coolant is directed through the instrument tip in a groove on the instrument head. Ultrasonic scalers work at between 25,000–50,000 cycles per second, with very small amplitudes. Right: Various ultrasonic scaler tips; from left to right: TFI-1000, TFI-9, TFI-1, TFI-7.
522 Air-Scaler (Titan-S, “Sonic Scaler”) The air-scaler has a regulable frequency of maximum 6,000 Hz and thus is considerably slower than an ultrasonic instrument. The motion of the tip of the instrument is between 0.08–0.20 mm; relatively slow. Right: Three tips for the Titan-S device. Additional manufacturers: KaVo Satelec, and Others

After the removal of soft deposits, calculus becomes visible. Calculus is an excellent substrate for plaque accumulation and must be completely removed. Numerous power-driven instruments are available: Ultrasonic apparatus (e.g., Cavitron) as well as Air-Scaler that can be attached to the air-water supply of the dental unit (e.g., Titan-S, Satelec; Sonicflex KaVo etc.; Hermann et al. 1995).

However, the most important and most precise means for removal of concrements remains: hand instruments (p. 242).

523 Removal of Soft Deposits and Stains Tough deposits, plaque and stains from tobacco, tea, wine or chlorhexidine can be removed from accessible enamel surfaces using the powder-water device. Cleaning in interdental areas, however, is insufficient. The stream should be directed onto the tooth surface at an angle of 45°. A high speed evacuator is used to retrieve the reflected solution. Caution: Highly abrasive on cementum, dentin and restorations!
524 Removal of Hard, Supragingival Concrements with an Ultrasonic Device Following removal of soft debris and plaque, remaining calculus is completely removed using the ultrasonic device. In narrow, poorly accessible sites and niches, fine ultrasonic tips or hand instruments must be used afterwards. Caution: Overheating, cracks in enamel and porcelain!
525 Removal of Hard Supragingival Concrements Using the Air-Scaler This instrument, which attaches to the turbine handpiece air-water orifice, permits removal of concrements in a manner similar to the ultrasonic instrument; however, the sensitivity is improved and the frequency can be regulated. Less pressure is necessary, and rinsing is continuous. This simplifies therapy, improves visibility and permits more efficient performance. Pictured is the Titan-S scaler.

Supragingival Tooth Cleaning—Hand Instruments, Prophy Pastes … and Their Use

In addition to ultrasonic devices, hand scalers and curettes remain the most important instruments for periodontal therapy and prophylaxis. For the removal of soft deposits and stains, hand instruments are enhanced by the use of brushes, rubber cups and polishing strips along with cleaning and polishing pastes.

It is not the manufacturer that is critical for successful treatment, rather the shape of the instrument, especially its degree of sharpness, and above all the manual dexterity of the dental hygienist (scaling technique)!

For the removal of supragingival deposits, chisels, straight and angled scalers and also lingual scalers are effective. In premolar and molar segments, also on difficult-to-reach areas, grooves and depressions on the crown, as well as exposed root surfaces, the removal of supragingival concrements may require curettes in addition to scalers, usually without anesthesia.

526 Scalers For supragingival calculus removal and for concrements that are located only a few millimeters below the gingival margin, sharpedged, pointed scalers in various shapes are indicated: Zerfing Chisel ZI 10 (white) Zbinden Scaler ZI 11, 11 R+L (blue), straight and paired Lingual Scaler ZI 12 (black) Right: Working end of the Zerfing chisel (45° sharpening angle!) and the lingual scaler.
527 Curettes For difficult-to-reach areas and for subgingival accretions, the scaler armamentarium must be enhanced by curettes: Universal Curettes ZI 15 (yellow) 1.2 mm wide Anterior Curettes GX 4 (orange), Deppeler Posterior Curettes M 23 A (red); both are ca. 0.95 mm wide; Deppeler Right: Working ends of a pair of universal curettes.
528 Standardized Prophy Pastes—RDA Prophy pastes are available according to abrasiveness. The standardization is achieved on the basis of dentin abrasion, measured by radioactivity. All are fluoride-containing: RDA Value Abrasiveness Color • 40 mild yellow • 120 normal red • 170 moderate green • 250 heavy blue Right: Finger cups with color-coded prophy pastes.

For the first phase of initial therapy, the classical universal curettes are indicated. The slender Gracey curettes, which are sharpened on only one edge, are used almost exclusively for subgingival scaling and root planing in periodontitis patients (p. 259). Today, ultrasonic and sonic devices are being used more and more often, in addition to hand instruments.

If supragingival calculus is covered with thick soft deposits, these should be removed with brushes and coarse prophy paste before mechanical debridement.

Whenever calculus is removed, the teeth should be polished afterwards with a rubber cup and polishing paste. This polish of the teeth and any exposed root surfaces is performed with fluoride-containing prophy pastes, which are classified according to their dentin abrasiveness (radioactive dentin abrasion = RDA; p. 234).

Contact points and the interdental areas can be cleaned using fine polishing strips (see p. 244).

529 Supragingival Calculus Removal The Zerfing chisel is the only instrument that is used in the anterior segment with a pushing motion. Straight and angled scalers and/or ultrasonic devices are then used for removal of any remaining calculus. The lingual scaler (Fig. 526, right) smoothes the narrow lingual surface of mandibular anterior teeth.
530 Subgingival Calculus Removal The largest masses of subgingival accretions are located only a few mm apical to the gingival margin. These should be removed during gross debridement, without anesthesia, using scalers and curettes or ultrasonic devices, as necessary. Gingival bleeding will occur even during very careful scaling, as the ulcerated pocket epithelium is injured.
531 Polishing with Rubber Cup and Prophy Paste Each time scaling is preformed, the teeth must be polished, otherwise rough surfaces will enhance re-accumulation of plaque bacteria. Rubber cups and polishing paste are ideal for this procedure (RCP technique, “rubber cup and paste”), because they are kinder to the gingival margin than are rotating brushes. The rubber cup can be used near shallow pockets to achieve polishing 1–2 mm beneath the gingival margin.
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Jul 2, 2020 | Posted by in Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Initial Treatment 1—
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