Symposium 2020, Frankfurt
The reason people around the world are having a smile on their faces - healthy smiles.
Like to read more? Check out the latest article!
Sledujte aktuálne dianie okolo iTOPu po celom svete.
The reason people around the world are having a smile on their faces - healthy smiles.
Like to read more? Check out the latest article!
«The crucial task: disrupt and remove biofilm once a day.» Catherine Schubert Chung, Dental Hygienist and iTOP Lecturer from Switzerland.🇨🇭 Catherine Schubert RDH graduated 1987 at the Dental Hygienists School in Switzerland. She has more than 33 years of professional experience in teaching. From 2016 until today she teaches dental hygiene for referents in nursing homes and has her own projects in collaboration with AMDG, HUG, Fegems, Agems (Dentists association Geneva, University Hospital Geneva, Federation of nursing homes Geneva, Association of nursing homes Geneva). Catherine is a dedicated iTOP lecturer since 2010. Happy birthday, dear Catherine!🎊 We wish you peace, success, and much love today and always. May you spend a wonderful day! Cooperating with you is a true blessing.💖
Also this year we had the honor to be present in Bangkok, where we successfully held an iTOP Teacher seminar.
Tuesday tip💡 4 common myths about your teeth revealed: #3/4 – The myth about blood What should you tell the patients who think that bleeding gums means that they should stop brushing? ✅ Don’t freak out if you see blood in the sink while taking care of your teeth. And don’t stop brushing either. While it’s true that healthy gums do not bleed, blood is the symptom, not the cause of the problem. 🩸If your gums are bleeding, it means your body is sending antibodies to help the gums deal with harmful bacteria. And the best way to get rid of the bacteria that are causing the bleeding is to keep brushing, and cleaning the spaces between your teeth with an interdental brush.
This small but super motivated group took iTOP in Sweden on a new level. We are happy!
Tuesday tip💡 4 common myths about your teeth revealed: #2/4 – The myth about food Do your patients think they should brush their teeth after every meal? 👇 Here's our tip for explaining why this is a myth. ❌Over-brushing can actually do more harm than good. When you eat, the acidity in your mouth increases to help you break down the food. Brushing while these acids are still active rubs them deeper into the enamel – which damages your teeth. ✅Luckily, your mouth has a natural solution. It uses saliva to neutralise the acids and rinse your mouth. Let your body do its job, and wait at least 30 minutes after a meal before brushing.
During 18.08.-23.08.2019 we had the honor to bring near the iTOP system to the students that took part at the official EDSA Meeting in Berlin.
Check out the EDSA Homepage where you can find latest magazine and more!
«Instead of merely advising patients to regularly brush their teeth, why not show them the proper way to do it? » Dr. Carla Mora, Periodontist and iTOP Lecturer from Switzerland.🇨🇭 Dr. Cara Mora made her specialization in periodontics and implant surgery at De los Andes University Santiago, Chile and was working as a dentist for 4 years at the restorative department and prophylaxis department at the Chilean Army. Dr. Carla Mora was also an assistant teacher at the periodontology department at the De los Andes University in Santiago Chile. She gave seminars for dental professionals in many countries and is a committed iTOP lecturer since 2011. Carla works now as a general dentist in Switzerland. Happy birthday, dear Carla! We wish you every day to be filled with lots of love, laughter, happiness, and the warmth of sunshine. We are very lucky to have you as a part of our team!😘🎊
These 13 participants just had an amazing iTOP Intro combined with BoB Score training the following day.
«Perfecting your oral hygiene routine is like learning to dance - you can’t succeed without a good mentor. » Jagoda Weihönig, Dental Hygienist and iTOP Lecturer from Poland.🇵🇱 Jagoda Weihönig RDH graduated in 2009 as a certified dental hygienist at the Pedagogical University in Cracow Poland. She did her master’s in biology and chemistry two years later at the same university. Jagoda lectures at different national and international events like the Congress of the Polish Dental Society and Central European Dental Congress CEDE in Poland. She also gives individual and group trainings for dentists and dental hygienists and educational workshops in the field of oral prophylaxis for pregnant woman, parents, and children. Beside all this, Jagoda is a dedicated iTOP lecturer since 2018 and is working as an education coordinator at Curaden Polska. Dear Jagoda, with all heart, we wish you a blessed birthday!✨ May you spend a wonderful day with your dearest ones. Thank you for being part of our team.🎊💖
Portugal - each students palce to be. During one week full of iTOP & surfing sessions, we had an amazing time together with 30 students and clearly are able to say that it's always worth coming back to such a beautiful place. If you're keen on joining, make sure you apply for next year.
Tuesday tip💡 4 common myths about teeth revealed: #1/4 – Hard toothbrush vs. soft toothbrush Many patients think the harder they brush their teeth, the cleaner they will be. Explain the truth behind this common myth by using the following arguments. 👇 ✅ We brush our teeth to keep them healthy, but what we’re really doing is breaking down dental plaque: a soft layer of bacteria and leftover bits of food that cover your teeth. And because the layer is so soft, there’s really no need to use force. Gentle strokes with a soft brush do the trick. ❌ Brushing too hard can damage both the protective enamel and the gums around teeth. In other words, brushing too hard can lead to cavities and inflamed gums.
Welcome to student camp in Ecuador – where iTOP is done in the jungle and people are having the time of their lives.
Tuesday tip💡 Teach patients about the need for interdental brushing For the majority of patients, the most neglected area in their daily brushing routine is the interdental spaces. What can we do as oral heath professionals to change that? Try a prevention session with iTOP methodology! 👉 See the gallery below to learn why such a prevention session can be beneficial for both you and your patients.
A group of postgraduate students in pediatric dentistry at Universidad Nacional de Colombia underwent an iTOP Introductory this past week.
Exciting news🎉 Dr. Sarah Ocaña Chacón is one of our dedicated iTOP lecturers from Mexico. She has been named the new coordinator of the Postgraduate Programme in Periodontics of Universidad Intercontinental in Mexico City.👏 We are very proud of you, Sarah! Keep up the great work. We look forward to everything that is yet to come.💖
A group of four dental professionals from Colombia, México, Spain and China underwent an intense Recall with Lucie Sedelmayer this past weekend and left Prague re-motivated to teach iTOP in their home clinics and countries.
Tuesday tip💡 When is the right moment to replace your interdental brush? ♲ When the bristles become splayed or wires become distorted, it is the best moment to change the interdental brush. Worn bristles look like a sad tree - they lost ability to spread in interdental space and remove the plaque. Although small interdental brushes last long. In the most of the cases one interdental brush can be used between one and two weeks. 👉 See the gallery to find out on what its lifespan depends on:
With great sadness, we mourn the loss of our great preventive hero, father of iTOP, Jiří Sedelmayer. (* 3.1.1946/ † 6.7.2019)
His passion and drive to change the approach of preventive dental medicine has lead professionals around the globe to follow in his footsteps, adapt his methodology of iTOP - individually trained oral prophylaxis - and become mentors to their patients.
In this emotional time, our iTOP-family as a whole stand with his family. We hope his words and passion continue to guide each and every one of us in growing iTOP even more, spreading the message further and teaching others.
Dr. Lilia Mnif is a Periodontist and iTOP Lecturer from Tunisia 🇹🇳 Dr. Lilia Mnif graduated in 2006 at the University of Monastir, Tunisia, where she also finished her specialization in periodontology. After working in a military hospital, she opened her own clinic in 2011, where she is working since then. Dr. Lilia is an iTOP lecturer and part of our team for 5 years now. Dear Lilia, happy birthday! We hope you have a wonderful day with lots of love and gifts. Today is yours, so enjoy and have a blast! We are happy to have you in our team.😘🎊
iTOP methodology was shared to over a 100 pharmacists in Athens this past weekend where they got introduced to the key role of oral health, the practical implementation of T2T methods and how to best advice patients.
What a honor to have 22 dental students with us in México getting trained, having fun and of course helping us to make this world a better, healthier place.
Although toothbrushing is the most decisive factor in preventing oral disease, only a few patients and dental professionals know how to brush perfectly. After earlier working as a dental technician and also as a dancer, Dr Fabio Angelini qualified as a dental hygienist and is now teaching internationally as an iTOP instructor.
Find his interesting interview via https://bit.ly/2WMVryE.
Today's dentists work more like repairmen, fixing our teeth when they are damaged. Ana Stevanović, Head of Professional Education at Curaden, hopes that future dentists will no longer need to act in this role."
Interview on https://bit.ly/2MqfS0a
What a successful Advanced, followed by two individual Introductories with a lot of hands on training in Athens, the capital city of Greece.
During the Simply Ortho Conference outside of the city of Vienna, dr Fanni Török introduced individually practice oral maintenance concept to her fellow ortho peers via a quick theoretical part and some longer practical training.
First iTOP for Students at the university in Georgia is done. This weekend almost 20 students learned more about oral hygiene.
Thanks to iTOP it's possible to get to know different cultures while improving the oral health and deepenig the oral knowledge.
From 12th to 14th of March 2019 dental professionals were able to discover at IDS in Cologne the innovations of the dental world. And of course there is no International Dental Show without iTOP.
We had the pleasure to do a successful iTOP at University in Giessen.
On February 12, Dr. Daniela Weiler held a live webinar on "Nutrition, Microbiota, Health or Diseases". In the webinar she referred to various documents, which you can find here on our homepage in the archive.
This small but motivated group spent valentines day doing iTOP with Dr. Claude-Jacques CYWIE.
They literally felt in love with their oral health.
Three days, city vibes, iTOP training and some awesome people. Sounds great, right?
Our next iTOP for Students will be from 11th to 14th of April 2019 in Wroclaw, Poland.
Make sure you will join us and apply till 15th of February via www.curadenstudentcamps.comPDF Download
Our team started 2019 with a successful Symposium in Belgrade, Serbia.
We wish everyone a general happy new year and successful start into 2019.
2018 was already a great year but we are looking forward to achieve much more this year.
Our next iTOP events:
We had the pleasure to do an interesting and successful iTOP in Montenegro.
Our local instructor showed the participants how to use our products efficiently and correctly.
Watch and imitate! :-)
Don't miss the chance to participate in the webinar of Dr. Kyle Ash. He will communicate the link between oral and overall health, putting focus on prevention, rediscovering your passion towards helping patents in all aspects of their health and enjoy working with innovative products.PDF Download
When you thought that we were done after iTOP Teacher, then you probably don't know us. From 8th to 11th of November we continued with iTOP for Students in Prague. 30 Students from Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, Latvia and Russia left with a brand new oral health awareness.
After four exciting days in Prague this November, 3rd to 7th, we are happy to tell that we could expand our range of lecturers successfully. We trained hard to perfect even the best ones and now look forward that these five new instructors can now do the same!
Always in a good spirit when instructing a practice. This time we had the honor to do so with Dr. Jakob Zwaan and his team in Bergamo, Italy.
Congratulations to the 50 students from Šiauliai College that went successfully through the iTOP for Students in Lithuania.
This October, participants from iTOP Teacher in Thailand experienced a new style of iTOP.
Why? Because after three days of theory and practice they were used to from past seminars, half of the participants had to take the lead as lectuerers and got judged by the other half. After the lecture of the second group they turned back to their group for a final analysis.
The result is ten new instructors in six different countries!
Can you imagine an International dental meeting without iTOP being present? We neither, that's why we, more specificly – Carla Mora, took the next flight to the BIDM and hold an amazing lecture about prophylactic management of non-carious cervical lesions.
In case you missed it, the main part for you to know is that the principles are as basic as primary prophylaxis can be… Effective but non traumatic toothbrushing techniques and tools associated with reduction of aetiological factors are at the core of the solution.
In the end, the mission of every dental professional should be to keep their patients healthy.
However, there is a huge gap between knowing and doing. What we know today will not help us tomorrow if we do not change our actions.PDF Download
Always a pleasure to have a great iTOP Introductory in Switzerland.
Seeing people that work on each other might be the best thing to happen to you as an instructor. For sure, Dr. Kyle could confirm this after his visit in Shanghai from 30th to 31st of August.
For over 12 years, Dr Mia Girotto has been teaching and training dental professionals worldwide as a part of Curaden's hands-on iTOP training programme.
Find the whole interview with Dental Tribune about iTOP via the following link:
Every year, the ADEE (Association for Dental Education in Europe) invites its members from all over Europe to attend the Annual Meeting. This year’s theme was “Dental education in a changing society”.
Our highly appreciated Dr Franka Baranović Huber was presenting her own research about «Effectiveness of calibrated interdental brushes in reducing the Interdental Bleeding Index (IBI) in subjects with intact interdental papillae».
We thank Dr Franka Baranović Huber for the enriching insights into her research.
LSMU Student camp, Lithuania 2018
It has already become a tradition to meet annually in "Freshmen Student Camp of LSMU", to learn more about prophylaxis program iTOP and have a good time...
We don't always meet in the Ecuadorian rain forrest to have crazy iTOPs, but when we do, we take 30 students with us to make these moments memorable for sure.
From 18th to 24th of August 2018, we once more had the chance to practice and perfect our skills in oral healthcare.
We are proud to see our latin amercian team grow and want to thank you all for being part of this event and but also this community!
We belive you do not – unless you're one of the 28 European dental students that spent a wonderful six days in the sun and heat of the French Atlantic cost in Vieux Boucau, learning the basics of surfing and interdental cleaning & toothbrushing.
Want more? Amazing pictures and the story behind will be published on Facebook only!
A small group with motivated people doing iTOP is always a good Idea to spend a Saturday with.
Congrats to the team in Johannesburg!
This Saturday we are going to meet some students from across the globe.
This means that you can find us from 21st to 27th of July in Bordeaux.
Between all the waves we got to catch and skill we have to improve we will also take some pictures which will be published on our Facebook page.
So many dedicated professionals in one picture. The reason could not be anybody else than Ueli Breitschmid & Jiri Sedelmayer. Their feelings, trust and hope in these individuals over the years, has been moving Curaden and iTOP further than ever.
This past weekend, they gathered, brainstormed and discussed on how to create a better and healthier future for humanity. They are dedicated to bring oral health on a whole new level. We are excited to be part of this journey with iTOP.
When two austrian dentists, 16 dental assistants and a student meet for iTOP, where would it be?
If it comes to the people in Ybbs, the only location that is good enough must be a castle.
Bass technique you say... hold my beer, I can do this!
From 14th to 16th of June we instructed a lot of people in our booth at Sonnenberg in Kriens during the B-Sides festival. After camping for days, we think they were happy to have a fresh mouth again.
In New Zealand they were watching each step closely. We are happy!
Brushing in Basel was fun!
Find here the latest interview of Ana Stevanović about changes that need to be done in dentistry.PDF Download
Great to see Kraków hopped on the iTOP-train too.
Se mostrarán las tendencias y actualidad en técnicas digitales y aproximaciones multidisciplinarias de integración Orto-Perio: aceleración de movimiento y refuerzo con ingeniería tisular, todo con un soporte investigativoPDF Download
From 31st of May to 2nd of June the biggest dental fair of Swtizerland, also known as Dental Bern, is going to take place in the swiss capital. Of course iTOP will also be represented between 12'400m2 full of different exhibitors.
On 12th of May we celebrate the European Gum health Day.
Health begins with healthy gums - this years slogan of the European Federation of Periodontology that is using such a special day to reach public awareness of importance of periodontal health to general health.
Filosofia de higiene – this is what we care about.
Congratulations to the team that participated in iTOP Introductory in São Paulo. We hope to see you again.
Take a look at this reprint of Dr. Bass' Article about problems of dental health published 64 years ago of.
More articles available in our archive!PDF Download
Dont miss the chance to participate for Dr. Eric Thevissens webinar where the handling of particularities such as charting implants or root-amputated natural teeth will be discussed.
This webinar takes place on 8th of May 2018 on https://bit.ly/2qMpPb9.
For this Aprils iTOP for Students we had a mixture of students all over from Albania, Bosnia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine and the UK in Prague to bring their oral health on a new level
Do not miss Dr. Kouzoukians' webinar about new standarts and their dentolegal considerations will be discussed.
During April and November you can find us for our annual iTOP for Students event in Prague. Keep an eye on https://bit.ly/2sszUbN for news and application start.
We are happy to tell that we successfully finished iTOP Teacher with 10 dental professionals in India in March. They were instructed by representantive Lecturers Dr. Dóra Tihanyi und Dr. Camelia Roman. The process continues in the second quarter of the year.
Since 2017, Curaden AG has been running a dental clinic and a shop (including an online store) in Bengaluru (the former Bangalore), India. In February 2018, various iTOP seminars were held throughout Bengaluru. All events were lectured and lead by Dr. Lyubomir Galabov from Bulgaria along with five local dentists. In addition, over 300 dentists working in medical schools were introduced to our iTOP training program at five locations in the state of Karnataka.
The first feedback we received reveals that our «Touch to Teach» program has garnered tremendous interest from educational institutions such as universities. This inspires us to focus on our goal to increase our working relationships with schools especially with iTOP in student education. According to Professor Krishna Nayak, Director and Dean of the A.B. Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences of Mangalore, only about 5% of the Indian population (i.e., 60-70 million with a population of just over 1.3 billion) visit the dentist on a regular basis. This proves the need for increased dental and oral care prevention through awareness and education.
We are happy to extend our group of instructors with 13 new people from Latin America and are looking forward to a great cooperation.
The group that successfully finished iTOP Intro in Norway!
The iTOP team began 2018 with a great Symposium in Hungary, Budapest.
According to Dr Tony Hashemian dentists have to engage their patients to more awareness in oral health. But whats the best way?PDF Download
Last but not least we finished the year with 22 local dentists in Georgia with an iTOP Introductory.
From 29th of November to 3rd of December we had 26 participants attending at iTOP in Belgrade. Toghether with this group we are looking forward to having a lot of iTOPs' in 2018. We are excited!
Dr Michel Angelo Sciotti and Dr Christoph Fiolka agree that if these enzymes are present in toothpaste as well, their protective effect can be intensified, reducing the build-up of plaque and tartar and encouraging remineralisation – It is likely that most biological problems may have an enzymatic-based solution.PDF Download
This years iTOP Teacher in Belgrade brought 26 participants. They were mostly from Serbia but also a lot from Macedonia. We are happy to continue with you gus.
For the final iTOP for Students in 2017, we had 29 young professionals that came a long way to Prague to learn about iTOP and its philosophy. They came from Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine and may be ready to instruct their own countries soon.
Our second last iTOP Teacher seminar of 2017 is done. This year the group consisted many dental professionals from Russia, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Greece, Indonesia and Bulgaria. We are very happy for all people that joined us now but also in the future!
ITOP and BOP YOUR TEETH: A revolution in dental care
This webinar will provide a short overview of the anatomy and function of the sulcus. The consequences of curing gums and reparing teeth will be discussed based on recent research regarding selective biofilm management.
The oral biofilm does not cause decay or gingivitis. It is, in fact, the opposite—it protects the tooth surface against acid-based or mechanical abrasion. After 24 hours, biofilm matures, and this matured biofilm is bad for oral health.
Inflammation can be proofed with the BOP. Coaching patients towards an intelligent dental cure is much more important than all the scratching and surgery we experience daily.
Rolf Kufus will then continue with the evolution of dentistry: lifetime coaching vs scratching, chairside all-ceramic restorations, one-visit crowns and bridges, esthetic and functional treatment. The all-digital workflow has become affordable for a broad middle-class population. You will have, and you will need, more patients: they have to be managed.
For one week 36 dental students from over 15 countries gathered on the beautiful Portuguese coast and underwent iTOP training and surf lessons. The camp was a huge success and we are happy to grow the community - one student at the time.
For the first time, dental students from México, Ecuador, Colombia and Brasil got together to listen and learn about iTOP. For a week redsiding just 90 minutes from Quito, the training was paired with many fun outdoor acitvities and even more memories.
It is that time of the year when students are busy finishing their semester at the dental school. For first-semester students, the next five to six years will be filled with courses on anatomy, pharmacology, radiology, and all aspects of dental restorative methods and treatments.
While endodontics, periodontics and oral surgery remain important, one area in dental education has seemingly increased in relevance: preventive dentistry. European and North American universities are beginning to include proper oral hygiene techniques in their dental curricula. Dental students will therefore focus more on prophylaxis, but probably not in the near future.
Since the introduction of dentistry as an academic field, the focus has naturally been on restoring damage to the soft and hard tissue. However, an increasing number of departments of preventative dentistry are studying the means and methods of oral disease prevention, the oral health status of the population, as well as knowledge, attitudes and behaviour regarding oral health. In addition, growing research in biological science and epidemiology within the last decades has enhanced understanding of disease prevention. However, some of the research on oral health and its consequences for systemic health has yet to find its way into today’s textbooks. Furthermore, preventative dentistry in the curriculum of most European universities constitutes only two credits. At British and American universities, however, some dental faculties have begun to recognise the central role of prevention.
Read full article: http://www.dental-tribune.com/articles/specialities/dental_hygiene/32620...
What a succesfull 4-day training in Vietnam with 23 participants from 8 different countries. Well done!
The future of dentistry met for another iTOP for Students in the freezy city of Prague to listen to Jiri Sedelmayer and learn about individually trained oral prophylaxis.
Another successful iTOP Teacher seminar took place during the first weekend in April in Prague (CZ). Participants from over 12 countries flew in and listened to Jiri Sedelmayer and the Instructor team during the four days.
Edith Maurer Mütsch is a dental hygienist at prophylaxis-oriented practices in Reinach (in the canton of Basel-Landschaft) and Basel in Switzerland. She came to the country from the Netherlands in 1978, secured a job at a private practice and became actively involved in the profession in the local area. Yet, after almost 30 years as a dental hygienist, she decided she wanted to develop her skills further and went in search of a new challenge, which she found as an iTOP (individually trained oral prophylaxis) trainer and an employee of Curaden Switzerland. In this interview, she explains why being involved in iTOP is as enjoyable to her today as ever.
Dental Tribune International: Ms Maurer Mütsch, you teach the iTOP system at universities, but you also present the iTOP philosophy and method to colleagues and dentists. On a personal level, you had been working as a dental hygienist for decades before you decided to focus on prophylaxis. What prompted this change of approach?
Edith Maurer Mütsch: Everyone thinks they clean their teeth perfectly, of course. I used to think exactly the same thing myself. I have been a dental hygienist for 40 years. I gained my degree in 1976 and worked at an orthodontic practice and a periodontal practice in the Netherlands. Then I asked myself: where do I want to go? At that time, prophylaxis was not a major topic yet, of course, but I had always been interested in it. After a couple of years in Holland, I moved to Basel in 1978. Training for dental hygienists had only been available there for two years. I worked for various dental practices.
And after a few years had passed, you thought that you wanted to do something different?
Yes, I liked working with patients, but I wanted to do more to help the general public, so I became involved in the Swiss Dental Hygienists association, Zahnmännli healthy teeth campaign and Zahn-Bus mobile dental prophylaxis scheme. In 2004, my attention was drawn to an advert for an oral hygiene promoter for CURAPROX and I learnt about Dr Jiri Sedelmayer and his iTOP philosophy. He gave a 1-hour presentation as an introduction. What he said was exactly what I had been trying to impress on my patients at the practice: one can become more aware of one’s own teeth by doing more than simply brushing them. Discovering the touch to teach (T2T) concept made me realise what I had been lacking up to that point. I completed my training as an iTOP instructor in 2008. Since 2005, I have had the opportunity to help introduce the topic of dental prophylaxis to dentistry students at the University of Basel. This is a great initiative, but unfortunately there is not enough time or space in the curriculum to convey the most important information on maintaining teeth and health. Theory is one thing, but practical exercises—this T2T element—is another. Consider that, 30 years ago, an introduction to the theory and practice of prophylaxis was virtually unheard of in dentistry degrees. I would love to help change this. Prophylaxis has a crucial role to play in dentistry. Healthy teeth do not develop disease!
Many practice teams say prevention is too expensive. What do you think?
I used to work at a practice where barely any attention was paid to prevention. Things are different now. If I have an hour to spend with a patient as a dental hygienist, there are now two approaches I can take. I can show the patient prophylactic techniques based on the T2T method and demonstrate how he or she can improve his or her oral health, removing a bit of calculus in the process and giving the teeth a polish and so forth. Alternatively, I can spend an hour simply removing calculus, polishing, applying fluoridating treatments and so on. Working with the patient and the practice team on prophylaxis produces much more successful results and is ultimately cheaper. Patient satisfaction is automatically enhanced. The patients are grateful that having their teeth cleaned is a painless experience because they have much less inflammation and calculus. They are also healthier because they have finally learnt the correct cleaning techniques. These are the basic principles of prevention—and they are priceless!
What is important when it comes to prevention?
Brushes and tools should not simply be handed out to patients. They need to be explained to them and used to help them practise the correct technique in their mouth using the T2T approach. This technique then needs to be repeated and checked at the next follow-up appointment. Individual prophylaxis is tailored to the patient and practised with him or her. Another important factor is the level of pressure a patient should apply with a toothbrush. This is something that can be practised. One of my fellow dental hygienists wanted to know how the T2T method worked, so she brushed my teeth once in the way she had learnt. Then I told her she ought to brush less firmly, making the correct motions but with hardly any pressure at all. We practised together until I was happy. Two days later, my gingivae were sore. She had used far too much force. I brushed her teeth so that she could feel the way I applied the technique with much less pressure. She found it far more pleasant and cleaner afterwards. Just like physiotherapy, it requires practice, explanation and repetition. The results have been very successful. Sometimes, it takes a bit of patience, but when my patients realise how easy it actually is to stay healthy without any painful treatment, they are happy to come back.
This principle is in line with the philosophy of established dentist Dr Jiri Sedelmayer, past professor at the University of Hamburg. He teaches that correct prophylaxis results in healthy teeth for life. However, keeping teeth and gingivae healthy in the long term relies on a combination of knowledge, training and checking the correct cleaning technique.
Yes, Dr Sedelmayer based his entire philosophy on this principle. He looked at the condition of his students’ teeth, saw signs of bleeding gingivae in some cases, and could not believe it possible for prospective dentists to have bleeding gingivae and not be able to clean their teeth properly. He thus began teaching them and using simple exercises to show where there was bleeding and where there was none. ITOP is all about conveying scientifically founded knowledge of prophylaxis in an easily comprehensible way. He then started instructing his students on how they should use toothbrushes and dental floss. There are six techniques for cleaning teeth with a toothbrush, including the Bass and Charters techniques, the Stillman’s method, as well as the rotation and scrub method. There are many variations on these as well. However, the Bass technique is the only method for cleaning the gingival line, which is where all the nasty stuff sets in. Dr Sedelmayer’s students had to take an examination on practical toothbrushing. That was unprecedented at the time. Even today, the training given to students involves very little teaching on prophylaxis. It is mostly theory based, with hardly any practice. Yet, practical exercises are extremely effective for learning. In practice, things are often shown on a demonstration model rather than in the mouth. Imagine doing that in physiotherapy—one would then find oneself standing in front of the mirror at home with no idea of what to do. Students should be given the opportunity during the therapy itself to experience and practise what the exercises should feel like. Only by using their own hands and being guided by the hands of an expert will they understand what they are trying to achieve. This practical approach leads to a rethinking and that is what makes Dr Sedelmayer’s insight and approach so brilliant.
So would you recommend this prophylaxis training to older dentists too, for example?
Absolutely! No practice team should be operating without any individual training and coaching in prophylaxis. Giving patients a toothbrush is simply not enough!
Just a few months ago, I went with the iTOP team to Sweden, where we visited representatives from the Faculty of Odontology—or more specifically the Department of Periodontology—at Malmö University. Our lecturer, Kirsten Warren, Professor of Periodontology at Aarhus University in Denmark, took care of the theoretical part of the training. We iTOP trainers then dealt with the practical part—the T2T element. When reviewing the full-day course afterwards, one colleague said that her teeth had never been so clean—that was the highest praise and underlines how successful the training was. If dental professionals really want to experience individually trained prophylaxis, they should give it a go and judge it for themselves. They should not believe that they can already do everything and have nothing more to learn. Human beings are creatures of habit.
How should the team work together in practice?
There are many dentists who do not take enough of an interest in the work of their dental hygienists and prophylaxis assistants and just let their colleagues get on with it. My dentist at the practice where I work is very interested in prophylaxis and appreciates her team’s iTOP knowledge. The entire practice team is on the same level and we all give the same instructions in line with the iTOP philosophy. As far as we are concerned, there are four key tools: the toothbrush, the interdental brush, dental floss and the single brush. Using interdental brushes correctly always leads to a Eureka moment. The follow-up and coaching are discussed as a team.
Who is permitted to practise prophylaxis in Switzerland?
In Switzerland, there are prophylaxis assistants and dental hygienists and, of course, dentists, who treat patients.
Prophylaxis assistants are dental assistants with additional training in prophylaxis. They are only actually allowed to use instruments to remove calculus in the supragingival area, so they can polish patients’ teeth and should give them a proper clean. They do not treat periodontal patients and they always work under a dentist’s supervision.
Dental hygienists undergo four years of training. They look after patients largely independently, working closely with their dentists, and have different and much more extensive skills than prophylaxis assistants do. Prophylaxis assistants therefore assist dental hygienists and work with them. Unfortunately, however, the training programme for prophylaxis assistants is too short to include the kind of thorough T2T training we offer.
How can one teach prophylaxis if one has not mastered the basics?
If we could integrate iTOP into all of these training programmes, it would make a big difference. The quality of prevention would improve, oral health would be much better and a great deal of money could be saved on dental treatment.