AIRFLOW® Technology and Guided Biofilm Therapy

The EMS AIRFLOW® ONE is an advanced machine that uses Guided Biofilm Therapy, which is the latest technology in preventative dental care.

 

Airflow ONE Product

Guided Biofilm Therapy is an innovative way to remove plaque (dental biofilm) from the teeth. It greatly reduces the need to use traditional ultrasonic (electric) or hand (manual) instruments during teeth cleaning treatments.

The AIRFLOW® machine is more effective than traditional cleaning methods, yet it provides a gentler clean which is more comfortable for the patient.

The AIRFLOW® also provides a more comfortable and effective clean for patients with dental implants, or who are wearing orthodontic braces (brackets). It can easily get into tight spaces without needing to come into direct contact with your teeth or gums. This system is the “gold standard” for dental implant maintenance1.

AIRFLOW® ONE is the superior choice for:

  • Nervous patients, or patients who dislike having their teeth cleaned.
  • Patients with highly sensitive teeth.
  • Patients with dental implants.
  • Patients with orthodontic braces/brackets.
  • All other patients who would like a gentler, more comfortable and more effective cleaning experience.

AIRFLOW® is for everyone!

Are you a nervous patient, or do you dislike the feeling of having your teeth cleaned?

This new technology delivers a more effective clean, in less time, and involves less direct contact with dental instruments.

Come in and experience the AIRFLOW® difference:

  • More comfortable.
  • No drilling noise.
  • Reduced or eliminated teeth sensitivity.
  • Warm water.
  • No pain.
  • Less direct contact with dental instruments. The AIRFLOW® ONE handpiece will not come into direct contact with your teeth or gums.
  • May soften calculus (tartar), and reduce the amount of time we need to use a manual or ultrasonic scaler.

What is dental biofilm?

Dental biofilm is also known as dental plaque. It is an almost colourless, sticky film of bacteria that builds up on teeth daily and adheres to the tooth surface. It is not removed by rinsing with water; it can only be removed by brushing and flossing, or by a dental professional.

If dental plaque isn’t adequately removed while it is still ‘soft’, it hardens into calculus (tartar).

“Biofilm is a significant concern in dentistry. When micro-organisms colonise areas on teeth and form biofilm, they create a protective layer that is difficult to treat. As the biofilm accumulates and expands, it leads to caries and periodontal infections, which can increase the risk of systemic diseases, such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease, arthritis or diabetes2”.

(Hu-Friedy/Electro Medical Systems).

 

What is Guided Biofilm Therapy and AIRFLOW® technology?

Guided Biofilm Therapy involves applying a harmless dye to the teeth to physically stain the bacteria (plaque) in your mouth, which will then be effectively removed with the AIRFLOW® ONE handpiece.

The AIRFLOW® handpiece is a revolutionary product that was developed in Switzerland. It projects a controlled stream of air, warm water (heated to 40 degrees Celsius), and very fine sweet powder onto both the teeth surface and hard-to-reach areas (including between the teeth and under the gum margins). It will dislodge and remove food particles, plaque, discolouration and stains.

The high-pressure stream of warm water, air and light powder cleans teeth faster, more efficiently and more comfortably. The instrument will not come into direct contact with your teeth or mouth.

Guided Biofilm Therapy is systematic and predictable, and based on clinically proven technologies3.

It was developed in line with European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) recommendations on Professional Mechanical Plaque Removal (PMPR) and Oral Hygiene Instructions (OHI) for Home Care of the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP)4.

Advantages of the AIRFLOW® system:

  • More effective at removing plaque (dental biofilm) than traditional cleaning and prophylaxis methods.
  • More effective at removing surface stains (such as tea, coffee, red wine and tobacco) than traditional cleaning and prophylaxis methods.
  • More comfortable for patients who suffer from sensitive teeth, as the water is heated to 40 degrees Celsius.
  • Eliminates the need for prophylaxis with a handpiece, rubber cup/brush and gritty paste.
  • Greatly reduces the need to use traditional ultrasonic (electric) or hand (manual) instruments during teeth cleaning.
  • More comfortable for patients.

How does AIRFLOW® technology and Guided Biofilm Therapy differ to the traditional way that we clean teeth?

Traditional method:

Traditional teeth cleaning procedures are heavily reliant on using ultrasonic (vibrating), and/or manual (scraping) instruments to remove both plaque (soft) and tartar (hard) deposits from the teeth. Traditional teeth polishing (prophylaxis) requires the use of a slow speed power handpiece with a rubber cup or brush on the end, and gritty abrasive paste.

Disadvantages of the traditional cleaning and prophylaxis technique include:

  • Ultrasonic and hand scaling instruments used to remove both plaque (soft) and tartar (hard) deposits.
  • More reliance on, and more time spent using ultrasonic and hand scaling instruments throughout the appointment (the vibrating and scraping sensations). Some patients may find these instruments uncomfortable (disliking the sensation and sound).
  • Can be challenging to ensure all plaque is removed.
  • Ineffective for the more inaccessible areas such as under the gum margins, between teeth, around orthodontic braces/brackets, and around dental implants.

The new AIRFLOW® approach:

Guided Biofilm Therapy, using the AIRFLOW®, instead removes plaque (soft) deposits from teeth first, and polishes the teeth and removes surface stains at the same time. The AIRFLOW® handpiece uses a stream of air and water, which means no instrument will come into direct contact with teeth or gums.

By using the AIRFLOW® handpiece, we no longer need to use ultrasonic or manual instruments to remove plaque (biofilm). We also do not need to “polish” your teeth with gritty paste.

Guided Biofilm Therapy also uses a harmless, coloured dye which physically stains bacteria to show where plaque (dental biofilm) is present in your mouth. This not only provides patient education, but a clear guide for your dental hygienist to ensure all biofilm is effectively removed.

Whilst ultrasonic and/or manual instruments are still required to remove tartar (hard) deposits from the teeth at the end of the procedure, they are used for a much shorter time, and they may not need to be used on every tooth.

Dental implant maintenance with AIRFLOW® ONE Technology

Guided Biofilm Therapy is the latest technology for the preventative care of dental implants. This system is the “gold standard” for dental implant maintenance5.

The AIRFLOW® ONE handpiece cleans easily, effectively and painlessly around the dental implant and restoration, and under the gum line.

Guided Biofilm Therapy is “the only predictable solution for implant maintenance” to ensure the “life-long maintenance of implants”6.

To this effect, Guided Biofilm Therapy is also the superior maintenance procedure for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment (wearing braces and brackets), to effectively clean around the fixed appliances.

The Guided Biofilm Therapy procedure

1. Disclosure

Your dental hygienist will apply a harmless, coloured dye to your teeth. The dye will physically stain the bacteria to show where the plaque (dental biofilm) is present in your mouth.

The bacteria will be stained in 3 different colours depending on the type of bacteria present, as shown in the photos below.

  • The pink staining is bacteria that has only been on the tooth surface for roughly 24 hours.
  • The dark blue staining is bacteria that has been on the tooth surface for longer than 24 hours.
  • The light blue staining is acid-producing plaque which is a high risk for causing cavities.

Guided Biofilm Therapy before and after

 

2. Presentation and instruction

Your dental hygienist will show you the results of the dye staining, and explain the different types of bacteria. You will be given a personalised education demonstration on how to effectively care for your teeth and gums at home to minimise future plaque build-up.

The dye staining is a great visual and motivational tool to show you the areas you might be missing at home, or that you need to spend a little more time on, when cleaning your teeth. Your hygienist will provide you with tips on how to clean these specific areas.

3. AIRFLOW® clean to remove plaque (biofilm) and stains

Your dental hygienist will now use the AIRFLOW® ONE handpiece to effectively remove all the stained dye from your teeth, in turn removing all of the plaque (dental biofilm).

The handpiece will also polish your teeth, and very effectively remove surface stains (such as tea, coffee, red wine and tobacco).

The AIRFLOW® ONE handpiece will not come into direct contact with your teeth. You may however feel a light sensation from the air, warm water and light powder.

4. Calculus removal

Unfortunately, the AIRFLOW® does not eliminate the need for your dental hygienist to use manual or power instruments (hand or ultrasonic scalers) to remove the hard calculus deposits from your teeth.

However, the prior use of the AIRFLOW® handpiece will often minimise the amount of time in which a manual or ultrasonic scaler is needed, and we may not need to use the scaler on every tooth in the mouth.

 

Airflow Product

 

References

  1. Swiss Dental Academy The Future of Modern Prophylaxis (https://int.sda-swissdentalacademy.com/about-us/guided-biofilm-therapy.html).
  2. Hu-Friedy / EMS – A Better Way For Patient Care – (https://www.hu-friedy.com/sites/default/files/2019-04/956_HFL-162_GBT_Brochure_0219.pdf).
  3. Hu-Friedy / EMS – A Better Way For Patient Care – (https://www.hu-friedy.com/sites/default/files/2019-04/956_HFL-162_GBT_Brochure_0219.pdf).
  4. EMS Dental Guided Biofilm Therapy: Why is GBT a game changer? (https://www.ems-dental.com/en/guided-biofilm-therapy).
  5. Swiss Dental Academy The Future of Modern Prophylaxis (https://int.sda-swissdentalacademy.com/about-us/guided-biofilm-therapy.html).
  6. EMS Dental Guided Biofilm Therapy: Implantology (https://www.ems-dental.com/en/guided-biofilm-therapy).