In the run up to the Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) Summit, Alfonso Rao, one of the speakers lined up for the day, shares valuable insight into the long-term maintenance of dental implants
What is the ethos in your practice?
Alfonso Rao (AR): We believe, obviously, that our patients’ best interests come first.
We also like a multidisciplinary approach.
Each of my patients will often see a few members of the team to make sure they get the best outcomes possible.
That marries up our commitment to providing our patients with a value-driven and customised approach to meet individual needs.
Why did you choose to bring airflow equipment into your practice?
AR: The majority of my work is implant related.
I wanted to ensure that we had the best equipment available to deliver gold-standard care.
This is alongside our in-house specialist periodontist and our experienced hygienist and therapist team.
The research we did led us to understand that airflow technology can achieve incredible results. Additionally, it’s comfortable for the patient.
It fits perfectly with what we are trying to achieve with our regular hygiene appointments and implant outcomes.
What are your oral health expectations for your patients during their implant journey?
AR: I have written protocols of what is required for a patient to move forward with implant treatment.
After all, if a patient lost teeth in the first place because their oral hygiene was not great or they were not really motivated, there is no point giving them something even more challenging to maintain.
So, we always start with oral hygiene instruction, checking the motivation of patients.
If the patient is not engaged, ultimately implants will fail, and so patient selection is key to success.
During treatment, I always say the temporary bridge is almost like a test drive.
It allows us to see how the patient is managing their oral health between appointments.
Then we can offer advice and education tailored to their needs.
By the time the final bridge is seated, we expect to have managed and motivated the patient to take good care of their new restoration.
How does using the airflow fit in with your maintenance recommendations?
AR: Based on the feedback I’m getting from the hygienist and the patients, guided biofilm therapy using airflow technology has been a game changer in terms of patient compliance and oral health outcomes.
For example, there are a number of steps to complete the GBT protocol. W
e are finding the one that really resonates with patients is disclosing by showing patients the plaque they’re not reaching.
We then provide thorough, professional prophylaxis for a biofilm-free mouth.
Our patients leave understanding what they need to do to improve their outcomes.
Patients also report feeling a lot more comfortable during GBT treatment than with the more traditional scale and polish.
This means they are happy to come back for their next scheduled appointment, so that adds to their compliance.
Ultimately, both the patient and the clinician are probably pushing the boundaries a little bit more with GBT.
Certainly in our practice, in the patients we have screened as being suitable for implant treatment, they are achieving great results.
The GBT Summit
On 16 September 2022 at The Royal College of Physicians, the GBT Summit in London will bring together leading international experts and clinicians.
They will share information about preventive dentistry and modern therapies to support existing GBT users.
To register and book your place, click here. Places are limited, so don’t delay!