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prevention International magazine for oral health No. 1, 2017

practical prevention | prophylaxis shop Interview: “We can only achieve good oral hygiene together” Dr Karl Wolfgang Geiwitz’s passion for dental prophylaxis is immediately apparent. The dentist and dental technician has specialised in prophylaxis since establishing his practice over 20 years ago, and now offers professional teeth cleaning, as well as nutritional advice and an in-house prophylaxis shop. Individual prevention takes up so much space in his practice in southern Germany that his prophylaxis lounge, opened in 2012, is almost completely full. In this interview, he talks about prophylaxis as being part of ensuring overall health and the importance of good patient communication to lifelong oral health. Dr Karl Wolfgang Geiwitz AUTHOR: DENTAL TRIBUNE INTERNATIONAL Your practice focuses on individual professional prophylaxis. How do you implement this ap- proach? It is very important to me that my dental hygienist allow sufficient time for the patient. A detailed medi- cal history shows us the most important problems and causes. The greatest problem is often that the patient has not found anyone who will listen to him or her properly and take them seriously. That is why we place so much importance on compre- hensive diagnostics and oral hygiene deficits. Most patients brush regularly, but not properly. Using only a toothbrush means only around 60 per cent of the surfaces of the teeth are cleaned. Owing to the oral situation of our youth, we are looking at a very different oral hygiene situation than we would have seen 30 or 40 years ago. If a patient implements good prophylaxis and brushes properly at home, he or she will have hardly any dental prob- lems. That is one part of it. Above all, we have to make patients aware of the link between oral health and the overall health of their whole body. How do you address prophylaxis with your pa- tients? By talking to them about prophylaxis! It is very im- portant to me that we explain to patients the causes of their problems and how to prevent them, and not just address problems temporarily. At every visit, we document their current status and use earlier notes to show their progress or even their regres- sion. Take dental caries as an example: we explain to patients about the acids responsible and how important it is to clean the spaces between the teeth. Once we have developed this awareness of good oral hygiene, it is even more fun to work with the 60 issue #1

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