Clínica Vilaboa in Spain: “Prophylaxis is the main way that conditions like peri-implantitis can be prevented”

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Clínica Vilaboa in Spain: “Prophylaxis is the main way that conditions like peri-implantitis can be prevented”

Dr Debora Velaboa (left) and Dr Debora Reuss talk about the Spanish dental market and new approaches in prophylaxis. (Photograph: Biocosmetics)

Tue. 22. August 2017


Traditionally, becoming a dentist in Spain was a lengthy process. Students used to be required to first obtain a qualification in medicine before they could even undergo dental training. Since 1986, however, these restrictions have been eased, and dentists are now able to practise with a European Union-recognised degree in dentistry. As a result, the country is now home to around 35,000 dentists and over 14,000 dental hygienists, almost all of whom operate as private practitioners owing to Spain’s low level of public-funded oral health care.

Located in the Salamanca district of Madrid, Spain’s capital, Clínica Vilaboa was founded more than 30 years ago by Drs Beatriz and Débora Vilaboa. With polished hardwood floors and a stylishly minimalist interior, the practice’s aesthetic emphasis is immediately evident. A pioneer in aesthetic dentistry when first established, the multilingual clinic has since expanded its focus to include endodontics, oral surgery and all kinds of restorative dentistry. Dental Tribune International spoke with the practice owners, as well as practice dentist Dr José Manuel Reuss, about the clinic’s approach to prevention and the general state of the Spanish dental industry.

You are a leading clinic in Spain with experts in a range of dental specialities. How important is prophylaxis to you?

Beatriz Vilaboa: Ever since we opened, hygiene, prevention and prophylaxis have been the major foci of our practice.

 José Manuel Reuss: Prophylaxis is the main way that conditions like peri-implantitis can be prevented. We know that implant treatment requires follow-up; implants need to be taken care of continuously, so it is very important to instruct and motivate patients to have regular check-ups that are complemented by a good home oral hygiene routine.

Dr Reuss, you have been a strong advocate of interdisciplinary partnership. Why is that so important to you?

José Manuel Reuss: As health care professionals, we see patients every day who are sent to us by heart specialists, endocrinologists, and so on. This is because there is an intrinsic relationship, proved by many studies, between oral health and overall health. For example, we have patients who have been referred by cardiologists who have detected some form of cardiovascular disease and want their patients to be orally healthy as soon as possible. We also have diabetics referred to us by endocrinologists, often straight out of the hospital. This is because, if they have anything wrong with their mouths, an infection or anything that needs to be addressed, it is essential that this issue is resolved so that the diabetes-related issues may also be resolved. Patients need to know about these relationships.

How do you educate your patients and talk to them about oral hygiene?

Débora Vilaboa: I spend more time today talking about hygiene and attitude with my patients than explaining what procedure I will be performing. That is something that the patients value and are very receptive to, and it provides many benefits to them. It also helps to establish a long-term relationship that is built on trust and understanding, one that is more health-oriented than tooth-focused.

 Beatriz Vilaboa: Education is something that we like to do with time and care. We take the time to explain to our patients what the best toothbrush and interdental brush are for them to use. We provide them with the best possible tools for them to achieve oral health.

 José Manuel Reuss: We understand now that we have to work with patients as a team. We can no longer simply provide treatment. We have to spend extra time educating them, motivating them on how they can maintain and preserve their oral health, which is ultimately their responsibility.

 What is the state of dental health in Spain? How good is your patients’ oral hygiene? Have you seen an increase in caries or periodontal disease among your patients?

Beatriz Vilaboa: In our office, we are seeing much better oral health—a decrease in caries and periodontal disease, which is very good news. This has not just come out of the blue, though. It is a result of continued education, year after year, by dentists and hygienists alike.

 Débora Vilaboa: Our goal is to have a positive impact on a patient’s life and health. When the patient realises the power that lies in his or her own hands, he or she is often very willing to use it. It is simply that we have often underestimated the effectiveness of educating our patients, of empowering them. Doing so pays off in the long term.

What are government measures to improve oral health in Spain?

Débora Vilaboa: Investing in education has proved to be one of the most important pillars in a progressive society. In the health field, this is essential. We cannot expect a society to be healthier without investing in health-centred education. Dental professionals, schools and organisations have for a long time run programmes educating their students and cohorts in prophylaxis and hygiene. More recently, our government has recognised the necessity of and the benefit that can be gained from spending time and money on educating the population about the benefits of oral hygiene.

What oral health care products do you usually recommend for home care?

Débora Vilaboa: For many years, we had few options regarding toothbrushes and interdental brushes. We did not have tools that were designed for specific cases. However, this has since changed for the better.

José Manuel Reuss: Nowadays, we have tools that are much more suitable for specific requirements—instruments that patients find easy to handle and use, which is essential for motivating them. We have specific interdental brushes for implant restorations and different-sized interdental brushes to maintain gingival health even in areas difficult to access.

We also now know that a good toothbrush with soft bristles is the best tool for achieving long-term success for implants. A toothbrush that does not harm the teeth or the soft tissue and that is easy to use is the best tool for lifelong oral health.

Débora Reuss: When a patient leaves our office, he or she has three tools: a toothbrush, good interdental brushes and, of course, dental floss. These help the patient to maintain good oral health and thereby avoid the development of conditions like gingivitis and periodontitis.

Débora Vilaboa: These tools are fundamental to maintain long-term health and facilitate the progression of whatever treatment we are engaged in.

What do you think about CURAPROX products?

José Manuel Reuss: Products that are easy to use help us progress in our treatments quicker and provide patients with the tools to easily establish a positive home care dental regimen. CURAPROX’s products are often gentler than other products, and this meant that it went against the general trend of the market for the past few years. However, this softness is extremely beneficial, as it helps to prevent damage to tissue and teeth.

Débora Vilaboa: CURAPROX’s range of products are atraumatic, safe to use and effective. These are the three most important things that we look for in preventative instruments, and they are delivered with CURAPROX.


Curaden Curaprox Peri-implantitis Prophylaxis

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