Why Air Flow Polishing is Superior to Traditional Periodontal Treatment

Author: Nick Davison
Nick Davison

Nick Davison

Nick Davison is a regular contributor to the MapleLeaf Dental blog. Nick is also a keen carp angler, and when he is not busy writing about dentistry he can often be found relaxing on a river bank, drinking fine ale and waiting for the fish to bite!
09.08.14 / 11:52 am

New technology is transforming all areas of the way we live and dentistry is no exception. The innovative air flow polishing technique uses a machine that cleans and polishes the teeth with a mix of water, compressed air and fine powder particles. This method is far superior to traditional cleaning methods that use scraping tools, rubber cups and polishing discs and which can be time-consuming and uncomfortable.

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More effective cleaning
A powerful yet controlled jet of water, air and fine powder not only polishes all the surfaces of a tooth, removing plaque, discoloration and soft deposits, but also reaches deep into periodontal pockets up to a depth of 5 mm. It is far more efficient than traditional scrape and polish treatment at removing the damaging biofilm that develops when dental plaque is colonized by bacteria and can cause periodontitis and peri-implantitis to develop. Even deeper, subgingival air polishing can be carried out using a PERIO-FLOW® extension nozzle and air flow polishing is completely safe to use with dental implants, veneers, crowns and bridges.

Improved patient comfort
Anyone who has ever cringed as a scraping tool digs into their gums or a polishing disc presses onto tooth enamel will welcome air polishing for its painless, fast and non-invasive method of cleaning. Even deep pockets and interproximal areas are easily reached without uncomfortable and potentially damaging probing by curettes and scrapers and with no instrument contact, the technique does not generate any heat or vibration. The non-toxic powder used in air polishing is also more pleasant and less gritty than the heavy paste used in traditional polishing. Air polishing powders with added flavors, such as spearmint, have even been developed for use in machines, making the experience even more pleasant.

Reduces teeth sensitivity
Air flow polishing is ideal for those who suffer from sensitive teeth. This is not only due to the lack of direct contact and the absence of heat and vibration, but because the tiny micro particles of powder can actually fill any exposed dentine tubules and reduce dental sensitivity. Air flow polishing can also encourage the re-mineralization of damaged teeth.

Faster cleaning
Studies have shown that air polishing is over three times faster at removing stains and plaque than traditional methods. This means less time in the chair for the patient and therefore fewer interruptions. Teeth are cleaned in a much less abrasive manner than scraping and polishing which also causes less damage to the teeth. Any small areas of decay are gently blasted away without the need to drill into the healthy structure of the tooth.

Ideal for use before orthodontic treatment
Air polishing is an ideal way of cleaning before procedures that require bonding and the use of sealants as it removes nearly 100 percent of bacteria and endotoxins. Not only that, but traditional polishing pastes contain glycerin that can interfere with bonding procedures. The air, water and powder used in air flow polishing contain no glycerin and make it easier for bonds and sealants to grip to the surfaces of the teeth.

Air flow polishing is the ideal way to remove the stains and discoloration caused by smoking or by drinking red wine, tea and coffee as it whitens teeth while thoroughly removing dental plaque. It can be used to clean and open fissures before sealing and is the best cleaning method to use before bonding. This highly efficient technique improves patient comfort by polishing without direct contact, pressure, heat or noise and is much superior to traditional periodontal treatments.

Nick Davison

Nick Davison

Nick Davison is a regular contributor to the MapleLeaf Dental blog. Nick is also a keen carp angler, and when he is not busy writing about dentistry he can often be found relaxing on a river bank, drinking fine ale and waiting for the fish to bite!

22 responses to “Why Air Flow Polishing is Superior to Traditional Periodontal Treatment”

  1. Nick, thank you for posting this information. I am a user of EMS Hu-Friedy Air Flow technology and have also found this technology to be faster for biofilm removal than curettes or ultrasonics as studies confirm. It is also more comfortable for patients. I’d like to highlight that sodium bicarbonate powder is safe for air polishing biofilm from enamel and amalgam, but has been proven to damage delicate restorative materials and is not safe for exposed root surfaces. Sodium bicarbonate is excellent for stain removal from enamel and for cleaning pits and fissures, but readers should use ONLY a low abrasive powder such as glycine on restorative materials and exposed root surfaces, and for directing the nozzle toward the tissue for subgingival biofilm removal. Glycine powder is also best suited for implants. With technology designed for low abrasive powders biofilm can be easily removed from above and below the gum line. EMS Hu-Friedy has Air Flow devices designed for low abrasive glycine powders; but not all air polishing devices on the market are suited for that, so one must check with the manufacturer to be certain. The Perio Flow nozzle for biofilm removal in deeper pockets also only uses low abrasive powder. Thanks for featuring this technology on Dental Geek. I hope more and more clinicians take advantage of this novel and effective method to remove plaque biofilm.

  2. […] Why Air Flow Polishing is Superior to Traditional Periodontal Treatment Traditional teeth cleanings have been revolutionized with an innovative air flow polishing technique that uses a machine to clean and polish teeth with a mix of water, compressed air and fine powder particles. Air flow polishing allows for more effective cleaning, improved patient comfort, faster appointments and a reduction in teeth sensitivity. Read on for more information on this revolutionary technique in teeth cleaning! […]

  3. Air flow polishing allows for more effective cleaning, improved patient comfort, faster appointments and a reduction in teeth sensitivity. Read on for more information on this revolutionary technique in teeth cleaning…

  4. I am a dental patient with sensitivity issues if not high aniety for trips to the dentist for regular cleaning! My brother-in-law is dentist in Mexico and he introduced me to air-flo and uses this method of cleaning when I visit him. I LOVE IT!!! I live in Marin County in California and am having dificulty finding a dentist that uses the incredible technology air-flo provides. Most of the calls Ive made result in offices never having heard of this incredible technology. I wont settle for less now and would appreciate any help finding an office in the SF Bay Area that uses this amazing method of cleaning.
    Thanks for any help! Happy New Year 2016!

    • Dear Chris

      I can relate to your comments. I have searched here in Mallorca Spain to 23 dentists for this Air Flow. I have friends in Australia and UK who love it and cleans their teeth wonderfully.

      Last week in desperation, I attended my dentist in the local town I live, pleaded with them, to give consideration to using this technique, not only will it give their patients a choice of old hook and grind cleans, but airflow if they want. Not to say, as everyone hates the old fashioned method, which can be painfull for all, thisis painless, so hopefully by introducing this new uptodate technology into their clinic for sure, it will bring in MORE NEW CUSTOMERS.

      Thankfully my dentist listened to my please and wonderful surprised today, they informed they have ordered the Airflow from England, and will be here end of May.

      How wonderful is this!!!! So, my suggestion is go to sweetheart your dentist, plea with them, and more importantly,
      indicate to their awareness the strong possibility of gaining MORE CUSTOMERS AND PATIENTS.

      You have nothing to gain, good luck and hope your Dentist is as flexible to patients requests ideas, as mine, thata finally result they listen, and show professionalism introducting a new technique for their clients needs and preferences.

      Speak up and request is the motto of the day, from Mallorca Spain.

      Jenny

  5. I am not sure what I brought it states

    Zoom 2 Laser Teeth Whitening With Airflow and Polish ?

    Isn’t Airflow and polish the norm when it comes to Teeth Whitening?

  6. A Dentist is important in ensuring good overall health. A dentist is dependent on a support team consisting of dental assistance, dental technicians, dental therapists and dental hygienists.These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.

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  8. As a patient I recently had Air Flow cleaning for the first time. I found it messy and uncomfortable. It did not make much difference to the appearance of my teeth.

  9. I have just had airflow done and I am sure she did not do it as she should. And the extra cost for it, did not justify the little time spent doing it.
    I had them first conventionally cleaned, then followed by airflow.

    The airflow was litterally spray across the front of top and bottom teeth once in a sweep. And that was it!!!!!!
    She said now rinse and I was done. Sure I have been taken for a ride on this!!!!!! And not happy after reading about the actual treatment, as it sounds like she should of spent alot more time than she did.

    Am I right or has anyone else had the same experience??

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  12. I had airflow cleaning for the first time 6 months ago having given up on traditional cleaning as it was too painful for my sensitive teeth.

    I think its amazing – it got rid of bad staining that I had despaired of having to live with – its restored my confidence.

    Best of all, it wasn’t painful. I could actually relax in the chair.

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