Air polishing was introduced in the late 1970s as an alternative to a rubber cup filled with pumice. Using a slurry of water, abrasive powder, and pressurized air, the air polisher effectively removes extrinsic stain, plaque biofilm, and prepares occlusal surfaces of teeth for sealant placement. Originally, air polishers were only intended for use on supragingival surfaces since the abrasive powder could potentially harm the softer tissues, such as the cementum, dentin, and gingival epithelium.
Like many things in dentistry, air polishing has changed since the late 1970s. There are several new air polisher designs and new abrasive powders, and we now have the ability to use air polishers subgingivally. Sodium bicarbonate was the original abrasive powder used, but newer abrasive powders include glycine, calcium carbonate, calcium sodium phosphosilicate, aluminum trihydroxide, and erythritol. These additional powders give us more choices for our patients' individual needs.
• Glycine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is finer, less abrasive, and water-soluble. Glycine can be used subgingivally and has no salty taste.
• Calcium carbonate is a powder that consists of spherical crystals for effective stain removal. This may cause greater defects on root dentin and is not recommended for use subgingivally.
• Calcium sodium phosphosilicate is a bioactive glass that helps occlude dentinal tubules to reduce sensitivity.
• Aluminum trihydroxide is an alternative to sodium bicarbonate for patients who are on sodium-restricted diets, but it may be hard on some restorative materials.
• Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that can help reduce periodontal pockets greater than 4 mm when it is mixed with 0.3% chlorhexidine.
Patients must be selected carefully, as there are some contraindications for use. Typically, individuals with communicable disease, upper respiratory disease, compromised immune systems, sodium-restricted diets, polishing powder ingredient allergies, and contact lenses are not candidates for air polishing. However, sodium restriction is less of an issue now that there are powders without sodium.
Indications for use of an air polisher have typically included extrinsic stain removal, cleaning around orthodontic appliances, and to clean occlusal surfaces before placing a sealant.
Benefits of air polishing
- The benefits of air polishing for the dental professional include less operator fatigue, less time involved than the traditional polishing technique, and improved access to difficult-to-reach areas.
- The benefits to the patient include less time in the chair, less "scraping," excellent stain removal, reduced dentin hypersensitivity, and improved periodontal status.
easyjet pro opens up a new dimension of turbine couplings. Just a simple click and your turbine becomes a skillful supragingival prophylaxis unit, which offers the same well-proven features as mectron’s table top units: a powerful powder jet, easy handling and reliable airpolishing. Shape and balance also enable a good handling and a controlled precise powder jet direction.
easyjet pro offers you a high degree of flexibility with its six different turbine coupling connectors. With just a click you can carry out the supragingival prophylaxis treatment. The connector can easily be changed by an authorized mectron service in case of a turbine coupling change.