Thursday, June 1, 2023


Stain Removal With Polishing

By Sharon L. Mossman, RDH, EdD The polishing of natural teeth and restorations is integral to the standard prophylaxis performed by dental hygienists. While the factors involved in stain accumulation have changed, patients still desire the clean, smooth feeling provided by polishing at the end of the dental hygiene appointment. Dental hygienists should be well versed in the causes...

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The Search for Consensus

By Sharon L. Mossman, RDH, EdD Dental hygienists have an array of products from which to choose when performing extrinsic stain removal. There are various factors to consider when selecting the correct polishing and/or cleaning agent for each patient. Identifying the types of stain and affected tooth structures is important.1 Dental practices may offer a limited choice of polishing...

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The Importance of Health Literacy

By Caren M. Barnes, RDH, MS Appropriate polishing techniques backed by scientific evidence are widely discussed in journals and textbooks.1–7 The science of abrasion is not new, and it serves as the basis of the most effective procedures for polishing teeth and restorations to remove stain and dental biofilm without removing enamel. With no scientific evidence to support the...

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The Evolution of Air Polishing

By Sandra Pence, RDH, MS Air polishing was introduced in the late 1970s as a mode of plaque and stain removal. In recent years, much progress has been made in equipment design, abrasive choice, and indications for use.1 Air polishing uses compressed air mixed with water and an abrasive powder to remove soft dental deposits and stain. Air pressure settings...

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Polishing Update

By Lynn Marsh, RDH, EdD Polishing with a rubber cup and prophy paste using a low-speed dental handpiece is typically utilized by dental hygienists to remove extrinsic stains after appropriate scaling has been completed. In the dental hygiene profession today, there are many different opinions regarding polishing, including whether it is a necessary component of the prophylaxis appointment. *...

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