Consumer oral care products play an important role in the overall delivery of preventative dentistry. However, it is difficult to assess their productivity in so far as determining individual treatment results.
That’s because, whether or not patients achieve the desired outcomes, depend greatly on how they apply these products. For example, when patients transitioning to a powered toothbrush default to the manual habit of scrubbing instead of using the recommended motions, the results are less than optimal. The same propensity, exhibited in the use of many consumer oral care products, frustrates the ability to predict and manage treatment outcomes.
These challenges will be addressed during the upcoming ADX14 in Sydney via a seminar series. The as-yet-titled seminars will be given by Dr Joerg Strate, Head of Global Clinical Affairs Philips Consumer Lifestyle.
“One of the main obstacles in preventative dentistry (and with that in dentistry in general) is that patients undergoing a treatment, or those who we try to motivate to avoid a treatment, have to modify their behaviors and learn to take ownership of their personal health,” Dr Strate elaborates on his choice of topic.
“This part of the treatment approach gets frequently neglected. I will talk about this topic and present concepts on how industry and dental team together can approach this challenge with the patient.”
Dr. Joerg Strate is a prolific speaker on implant dentistry and oral health, having lectured at academic institutes and conferences throughout Europe, Asia and South America. He has also authored (and co-authored) numerous scientific papers and abstracts on the topics.
Applying both clinical and industry knowledge, the former practicing periodontist has for many years been involved in researching the relationship between dental products and patient motivation towards the promotion of oral hygiene.
“At Philips we try to support the efforts of the dental team through products that allow patients to optimize their oral hygiene beyond what they may, for example, have achieved with a manual toothbrush.”
“Leading technology is instrumental in this task. When I looked at the reality though, I found that there was still an important element missing to ensure that patient motivation truly translates into long-term and sustainable oral health improvements.”
Digging deeper, the Philips team started working with the pioneers in the area of motivational interviewing Chris Butler and Steve Rolnick, both South Africans now lecturing in Cardiff/UK.
“That’s how it all started. Philips is likely the first and still the only company with such an interest in behavior modifications in the dental office environment.”
The result of extensive research is a new breed of consumer products that in Dr Strate’s words, “empower consumers to take control of their oral health”. The Philips Sonicare range of electric toothbrushes is a prime example.
The unique design of these devices compensates for potential deviations from an optimal use, a concept realized in many new features.
“A product that may work for a dentist and a design that we may see on a hand piece is not necessarily the best solution for a person without the knowledge and intentional behavior of an expert. In my thinking about the actual performance of consumer oral care products I therefore like to talk about evidence-based value creation.”
The FlexCare Platinum features a completely new brush head design that dramatically enhances the cleaning efficacy in those areas which are easily missed such as the approximal surfaces. The product comes with a pressure sensor that provides the user with a non-distracting feedback that helps to always apply the optimal pressure.
“I consider (the pressure sensor) as one of the biggest advantages of Sonicare toothbrushes that they require only very gentle load pressure and are therefore exceptionally gentle on teeth and gums.”
The Sonicare Airfloss is another breakthrough innovation that has been successfully launched internationally – and is a product that Dr Strate believes “literally exists in its own segment”.
Proven to clean interproximally, the device features microburst technology that delivers microdroplets of air and water to remove plaque biofilm between teeth, and it’s proven safe and gentle on gums and teeth.
Both products, first launched to the public at IDS 2013 in Cologne Germany, are now available in Australia.
Dr Strate will be discussing these innovations in his talks, showcasing clinical examples to provide motivation techniques and tools for oral hygiene. The topic supports practical guidance to promote oral health behavior change in patients. The seminars will produce evidence culled from the company’s own clinical program that was co-developed with the Eastman Dental Institute in London.