by Dr Ruark Williams, Roo Dental, Birtinya, QLD
After I’ve done an ultrasonic or a scale, I use the Kavo Prophyflex for the final clean and polish. I think it gives a much better prophylaxis and clean compared to the old prophy cup and paste. I use the Prophyflex with every clean I undertake.
What’s good about it
The Prophyflex can attach to all dental units via a multiflex coupling. It holds a reservoir of powder at the back of the handpiece and is operated by a foot pedal. Powder and water jets out of the canula of the handpiece and removes all types of surface stains including tea, coffee, nicotine and plaque. It also works very well at cleaning teeth prior to the application of fissure seals.
Other devices that are used for air abrasion damage the enamel of a tooth. The specialised powder that is used with the Prophyflex ensures there’s no damage to enamel or any other structure.
It’s also very handy when undertaking a clean with an orthodontic patient who has a mouth full of wire and brackets. You’re able to clean all around the hardware without bending, breaking or damaging anything. If using a prophy brush, it’s all too easy to apply too much pressure and snap a wire. This, of course, requires another visit to the orthodontist for the patient.
What’s not so good
If the head is placed too close to the teeth or gingiva area, it may cause a bit of gingival bleeding. It also requires good evacuation and a skilled assistant to reduce the amount of mess. Afterwards, the patient needs to be thoroughly cleaned before leaving the chair. I always take the time to explain what’s involved with first-time patients.