By Renée Marchant-Turner*
Dentistry has entered a new phase of enamel repair sometimes replacing enamel removal with subsequent restorative repair, aka drilling and filling. Just a few short years ago we could not have imagined that decay and hypo-mineralized enamel and dentin could be repaired enough to eliminate the need for a restoration. Small decay and root sensitivity may now be repaired with very simple means. Let me introduce you to this product.
NovaMin® is a bioactive glass that contains oxides of calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and silicon. These essential ions are released into saliva, raising the pH of the oral environment and creating the conditions needed for remineralization.
You may be wondering how NovaMin is dispensed, how expensive it is, how difficult is it to use, and whether it is an in-office or home-use therapy. It's hard enough to get our patients to comply with anything other than tooth brushing, and even then many don't do that long enough to remove visible biofilms. The good news is that NovaMin is reasonably priced and available in many professional products. Patients can also order NovaMin toothpaste online or the office can dispense the over-the-counter toothpaste.
This author has noted that many patients never run out of products that are in addition to toothpaste alone. They come in for their three- or six-month recare appointment and still have the little sample-size floss container and specialized tube of some type of elixir we dispensed for them to use DAILY. Hmmm, these should have been used up long before. Of course, there are exceptions, but most patients do not use accessory dental products unless they are in pain, which is the ultimate motivator. The simplicity of NovaMin is that patients can replace their own toothpaste with tasty Renew, SootheRx, or Oravive toothpastes.
NovaMin is contained in the following professional and home-use products:
• VitalMin (Sultan) is professionally applied to occlude dentinal tubules, reducing sensitivity after periodontal procedures or before scaling. http://www.sultanhealthcare.com/sw/swchannel/productcatalogcf_v2/internet/model.asp/ProductMasterID/769063/ParentID/211844/SWID/1
• Renew (Sultan) is a professionally dispensed toothpaste for home use to remineralize enamel and dentin. It also contains 5000 ppm fluoride. Used for incipient decay and tooth sensitivity. http://www.sultanhealthcare.com/sw/swchannel/productcatalogcf_v2/internet/model.asp/ProductMasterId/769064/ParentId/211844
• SootheRx (3M/Omni) is a professionally dispensed toothpaste for home use to remineralize enamel and dentin. Used for incipient decay and tooth sensitivity. http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/preventive-care/home/products/home-care-therapies/sootherx/
• Nu-Solutions (Dentsply) is a prophy paste designed to occlude dentinal tubules. It also contains fluoride. Can reduce root sensitivity if used before scaling procedures. http://www.dentsply.com/default.aspx?pageid=791
• Oravive (NovaMin Technology, Inc.) is an over-the-counter toothpaste for home use. It can be ordered at www.cvs.com by patients or through www.novamin.com for professional distribution.
* The author received an unrestricted educational grant from NovaMin Technology for this article.
Renée Marchant-Turner, RDH, graduated from Cabrillo College, Calif., in 1980 and practices full time as a clinical dental hygienist in Santa Rosa, Calif. Renée's passion is teaching ultrasonic scaling and ergonomics using both lecture and hands-on workshop formats. She has been published in numerous dental hygiene publications and served on dental manufacturer's advisory boards. Renée can be contacted by e-mail at reneetu[email protected] or via her Web site at www.handsonhygiene.com.