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NYON, Switzerland: Those who prioritise their overall health also understand the importance of oral health and consistently seek professional prophylaxis. Over 278,000 patients worldwide have been surveyed after undergoing preventive care with Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT), and 94% of them prefer GBT to conventional methods and therefore recommend it to family and friends. In the survey, they were also asked about their perception of pain during GBT, the time the treatment required and the usefulness of disclosing biofilm.
Owing to the high burden of disease, the World Health Organization has identified oral disease—including caries and periodontitis—as a key health problem.1, 2 As dentists know, to address these, the microbial biofilm must be removed regularly and completely, and patients must be encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle. However, daily personal oral hygiene removes a maximum of 50% of the biofilm from supragingival tooth surfaces, particularly in the interdental area.3
Regular and effective professional prophylaxis too is therefore of crucial importance.4, 5 For this to be successful, it must be patient-friendly and reflect current knowledge and technical progress.6–11 In response to these requirements, EMS developed GBT in collaboration with leading experts.12 In order to determine the acceptance of GBT compared with conventional methods, patients of GBT-certified practices are surveyed using standardised questionnaires.
Method and results
The GBT certification protocol includes training of the practice team by the Swiss Dental Academy and the collection of patient feedback. The anonymised responses are provided to EMS by GBT-certified practices and clinics for evaluation (278,258 responses from 13,082 practices and clinics as at 31 October 2023).
The questionnaire used for the feedback consisted of seven questions, in response to which the respondents gave a rating on a scale of 0 to 5. All of them scored around 4.7 of 5.0 possible points, showing a very high level of approval of GBT. Among the questions are the appropriate amount of time required and the absence of pain. The results were unequivocal: 93.93% of the patients preferred GBT to the conventional method (Fig. 1), and disclosing was considered to be useful by 93.17% of the respondents. This step in the GBT protocol ensures that the biofilm has been completely removed—providing assurance for the patient and practitioner. The University of Zurich in Switzerland was involved in the further development of the questionnaire for this newest survey.
The use of invasive sonic, ultrasonic and manual instruments in conventional professional tooth cleaning13 to remove calculus and subsequent polishing result in the loss of valuable tooth substance without achieving a smoother surface.14 In addition, staining is often omitted.15 In GBT, however, the biofilm is first removed from all oral surfaces. This is done—after mandatory disclosing—in a minimally invasive and gentle manner with AIR-FLOWING.16 This involves the use of the AIRFLOW Prophylaxis Master device with the AIRFLOW MAX handpiece, PERIOFLOW handpiece and PLUS powder for highly effective and efficient professional prophylaxis, thanks to EMS’s patented laminar technology, which ensures that the PLUS powder leaves the nozzle at a constant and regulated flow rate (Fig. 2).17 Only in the second step is the piezoceramic ultrasonic system (PIEZON PS NO PAIN) used to remove the remaining visible calculus.
Today’s informed patients want effective and modern prophylaxis management that aligns with the latest advances in science and technology, and they wish to collaborate on their care with the dental team. The positive experience of this gentle and pain-free preventive treatment is of great importance for patient loyalty and recall—and therefore also for the financial success of a practice. GBT has been shown to be superior in these aspects, both in primary prophylaxis and in secondary and tertiary prophylaxis.6, 7, 9–11
The most recent assessment of patients treated with GBT—over 278,000 surveyed—clearly confirms the high patient acceptance of the GBT protocol. This supports the findings of an earlier evaluation from April 2022.18 The enthusiasm of the prophylaxis team for GBT may affect the evaluation by patients (Hawthorne effect).19 However, the results of the patient survey are in very good agreement with published studies from practice and academia.20 Owing to the differentiated research question and high number of participants, a clear preference for GBT compared with conventional procedures can therefore be established.
Become a GBT-certified practice
If you want to offer prophylaxis at the highest level, you can have your practice certified in accordance with GBT. Further information can be found at www.ems-dental.com/en/gbt-certified.