jolene pinder 16 x 9

Why my GBT journey has been a
game changer

By Jolene Pinder. UK SDA Trainer.

Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) is a relatively new modality for treating patients based on clinical evidence with a strong emphasis on patient home care. As a clinical Dental Hygienist it can often feel like we are on a Merry Go Round of one patient after another, trying to provide the best care. As with all behavioural change professions it can feel like we are swimming against the tide of what we know the patients needs vs what the patient wants. 

We all spend many hours on continuing professional development in order that we stay current with up to date treatments, but that doesn’t always mean that our patients will jump on board with our new ideas. They get so used to what they perceive to be an appointment with a dental professional that changing things can be a worrying and often traumatic experience for them. They have spent the time before the appointment worrying about what we might find today, and how many of us hear those words “I hate you, well not you personally just coming to see you” “I would rather have a filling than a Hygienist appointment’ , “I hate getting my teeth scraped but I know I need it done”. I could go on and on but ultimately we understand and sympathise with these lovely people who find treatment very difficult.  Imagine the day when they come in for their appointment and you can say “Today will be different”.

As our primary role is Educating and Motivating we must always stay positive and keep giving the advice we know is tailored for their individual needs. I have been qualified for 17 years and the message never changes , the more they do at home the less dental disease they will present with.

I have always felt that the most important thing your patient can have with you is a trust relationship, they trust you to give them the best advice coupled with the best treatment.

For many years I have used Airflow as an integral part of my treatment , and used Perioflow successfully for many years. I have a strong belief in using the most dynamic and least invasive way of providing treatment and therefore researched extensively to find both Airflow and Perioflow.

I was delighted when the Plus powder was introduced, I liked the properties of Erythritol and researched it to make sure it was as biodynamic as it appeared. I decided to invest in the equipment to enable me to use Erythritol. The patients were astounded at how much more comfortable their treatment was and when handing over the mirror at the end of the treatment they were also delighted to see the stain completely gone and that fresh feeling throughout their whole mouths. The trust that I could provide treatment pain free with such amazing results was a practice builder. I went from 5 hours a week to 12 hours a week in 2 months. I want to add at this point I had very short appointment times which wasn’t ideal but it I was confident I was providing a good standard of care.

I have been involved as a Key Opinion leader with EMS for a number of years and was subsequently invited to attend the First GBT Congress in Geneva in June 2016 and that’s when the game really changed!! Guided Biofilm Therapy was talked about extensively in all different practice settings. I found the whole experience inspiring . I had been asked to present at the Congress and I decided that what I was doing in my wee practice in Scotland was somewhat inferior to what I would hear from the Dental Professionals from all over the world. It’s a decision I bitterly regret as during the Congress I realised that what I was doing was of the best standard possible. The results I was getting were just as good as those beautifully presented. The GBT protocols were very succinct and it was in a slightly different way that I was carrying out treatment. I changed my clinical protocols on return and put into place a much more structured appointment with each stage being carried out in the same order each time. Disclosing the patients and taking more time over ensuring Biofilm management was both my priority and theirs has been so refreshing and has enhanced my work satisfaction. 

We spend a lot of time at work if that part of life is stressful and cumbersome unfortunately it then affects everything around you. So GBT is a game changer and for me has given me a new Joie de Vivre.

Jolene Pinder RDH