Wednesday 29 September 2021

Review | Guided Biofilm Therapy

Guided Biofilm Therapy is dental treatment that is a serious game changer when it comes to hygiene appointments.

Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) is described as "an evidence-based, indication-orientated, systematic, modular prevention or prophylaxis and therapy protocol for all dental applications". In normal people terms, GBT is a treatment designed to remove and manage dental biofilm (dental plaque) using AIRFLOW, PERIOFLOW and PIEZON technologies. It minimises the discomfort you can feel at a hygiene appointment and speeds up the whole process, resulting it limited time in the chair.  

So what is hell is biofilm?! Biofilm is a group of microorganisms which stick together and adhere to the surface of the teeth. It is more commonly known as dental plaque. If biofilm is not removed, it can build up around the area between the teeth and the gums, resulting in gum disease. The bacteria in biofilm can also break down enamel when it comes in contact with sugary foods and drinks, ultimately causing tooth decay. 

Interestingly, biofilm changes over time and the longer it stays on the teeth, the greater damage it can do. In fact, it is the main etiological factor for caries, periodontal and peri-implant infections. Periodontitis can increase the risk of systemic diseases, such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease, arthritis, or diabetes.

Anyway, back to Guided Biofilm Therapy...

GBT is designed to be used during regular hygienist visits, reducing your time in the hygienist chair from 20 to just seven minutes. It is so minimally invasive and gentle that people with gum disease, braces, crowns, bridges, veneers, and implants are eligible for treatment. These procedures are so gentle they can be used on natural teeth, restorations, orthodontic braces, implants, the tongue, and gums.

The GBT process involves eight important steps:

Step One
Every appointment starts with a full assessment of your teeth and gum health. You'll also get an oral cancer screening at every visit.

Step Two 
A purple dye is applied all over the teeth to make biofilm visible. It only shows plaque that has been on the teeth longer than three days. It highlights any problematic areas and importantly guides the cleaning process, as you can only guarantee the teeth are completely free of biofilm when no dye is left.

Step Three
Based on your needs and preferences, your hygienist will create a tailored oral hygiene routine to maximise your at-home teeth cleaning routine.

Step Four
The cleaning begins. Using a combination of warm water, air, and fine powder ,biofilm, stains, and early calculus are gently removed from the teeth and gums.

Step Five
If required, PLUS Powder is then used to clean down into deeper pockets around your teeth. 

Step Six
Using warm water and pain-free technology, deposits are removed from the teeth quietly and gently.

Step Seven
One last check to ensure that your mouth is clean before adding a protective varnish to the teeth.

Step Eight
Based on your needs, your next appointment will be arranged, ensuring that your oral health is maintained regularly.

My GBT treatment was carried out by gum expert, Benjamin Tighe, who was a wealth of knowledge on all things oral health. I had my treatment at the amazing Clinic 95 in Oxford.

As expected, my visit incorporated all necessary steps and the most interesting was step two - the purple dye. I consider myself to have a reasonably clean mouth. At the point of visiting I flossed regularly enough (twice week) and brushed twice a day, so I was expecting to see small amount of purple dye left on my teeth. This sadly wasn't the case. There was purple dye EVERYWHERE - as if I had never even brushed my teeth. The only upside to this, was that no gum disease or inflammation was found during my full assessment. Call this a wake up call. 

As a result of my disastrous dye experience, Benjamin spoke me through the changes that I needed to make. Explaining that I need to floss at leats once a day and showing me the best way to brush. I had clearly been doing it all wrong...

He then go to the cleaning and as someone who has had many hygienist visits in my life, I can safely say it was the best I've ever had. It was very quick and much more comfortable than post sessions. Sadly some of same tools used in standard hygienist appointments are still used, so I still experienced a little scraping and pulling, however it was so so minimal. 

With my teeth beautifully clean, and my head full of accurate oral health information, I was ready to leave Clinic 95 safe in the knowledge that I was equipped with everything needed for the healthiest teeth and gums possible! The only downside is after experiencing this revolutionary treatment, I can never go back to the standard dental hygienist treatment I've been used to.

Guided Biofilm Therapy treatments at Clinic 95 are £131.00. However, for those based outside of Oxford, GBT treatments are available nationwide.

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