Prophy polishing agents contain a mild abrasive for the supragingival and subgingival removal of plaque, calculus, and stain.
Commercially prepared prophy pastes are available in bulk and unit doses, with grit graded from fine to coarse. They combine an abrasive (pumice, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, aluminum silicate, silicon dioxide, carbide compounds, garnet, feldspar, zirconium silicate, zirconium oxide, boron, calcium carbonate, emery, perlite, silica) with a binder, humectants, coloring agent, preservatives and flavoring agents. Some pastes also contain fluoride. Dry powders (flours) must be mixed with a liquid, and are graded in order of increasing fineness (F, FF, and FFF).
Polishing pastes containing perlite have been available for more than a decade. Their abrasive particles are believed to break down and become less abrasive under pressure. Newer formulations include amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) pastes and similar products, such as casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP), which are formulated to remineralize enamel subsurface carious lesions. Polishing paste with calcium sodium phosphosilicate, a bioactive glass that rapidly releases calcium and phosphorus ions, is designed to relieve dentinal hypersensitivity immediately.
This Disposable Prophy Angle Can Help Reduce Infection Risk
The COVID-19 crisis has put dentists, hygienists, and patients at risk, and prompted national guidelines for postponing non-emergency procedures, such as dental cleanings. While coronavirus has shaken the healthcare industry to its core, the “downtime” dental practices currently have may be an opportunity to reevaluate their hygiene protocols.
Unfortunately, it may take some time—beyond the timeframe of these stringent guidelines—before patients and staff members begin to feel comfortable again. We’ll all be looking forward to the day when we can freely shop and visit restaurants. Some patients may even be looking forward to the day when they can return to your practice for their overdue cleaning! Other patients, however, may be concerned about a real “ick” factor that many hygienists have to combat—prophy paste splatter.
Airborne saliva is the last thing patients or hygienists want to experience in the wake of this pandemic. Thankfully, there’s a disposable prophy angle, Ultrapro Tx Sweep, that has been shown to reduce up to 95% of prophy paste splatter. While time allows, you may consider researching this handy innovation from Ultradent. A good place to start is the peer-to-peer evaluation recently published in Dental Product Shopper magazine. In this evaluation, independent evaluators awarded Ultrapro Tx Sweep a DPS “Best Product” designation.
Here’s how it works: Ultrapro Tx Sweep is designed with an innovative brush guard with flexible bristles that greatly reduce splatter by preventing saliva and paste from collecting and roping around the cup. The polishing cup, available in a soft or firm design, sweeps the prophy paste back toward the tooth, allowing the user to continue working with fewer stops for paste refills. Additional benefits include an advanced internal blade design, outer ridges for interproximal cleaning, a short head and slim neck design for better access and visibility, optimal flare, and an ergonomic shape.