Air polishing was first introduced to the North American dental profession in the 1970s as an effective means of quickly and easily removing extrinsic stains and soft debris from tooth surfaces.
To do this, a new powder was needed that was significantly less abrasive than sodium bicarbonate yet effective for biofilm removal. Glycine powder is 80 percent less abrasive, safe on oral tissues and root surfaces, effective for biofilm removal, and comfortable for the patient.
Air polishing research has taken an interesting turn, focusing more recently on subgingival biofilm removal to control disease, rather than stain removal for aesthetic reasons.
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