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One of the speakers at the 24-hour webinar, Dr Gregor Petersilka, will be be discussing erythritol’s safety and convenience in practice. (Image: SDA)

Interview: “I cannot see any drawback to erythritol if used properly”

By Dental Tribune International
November 22, 2019

Although air polishing with erythritol has been established as a standard mode of minimally abrasive root surface debridement, many dentists are unaware of its clinical benefits. Ahead of the world’s first 24-hour dental webinar, Dental Tribune International spoke with periodontist and researcher Dr Gregor Petersilka, who will be talking about erythritol’s safety and convenience in practice during the webinar.

First of all, what is erythritol, and what is its place in oral healthcare?
Simply put, erythritol is a polyol or sugar alcohol and occurs naturally in fruit, vegetables and mushrooms. However, it is non-caloric! Besides that, the regular use of erythritol has even been shown to prevent dental caries, and it acts as a radical scavenger, which may help to prevent endothelial damage to blood vessels. So, at the moment, we can say that it is an ideal powder for minimally abrasive air polishing.

How should dental professionals go about choosing a good prophylactic powder?
First of all, there should be sufficient clinical data published in well-known, peer-reviewed journals that confirm the powder’s safety and efficiency. And, of course, it should prove to be reliable and efficient during routine use in the dental office.

What is the advantage of erythritol over other powders?
As I mentioned above, you can say that, owing to its potential caries-lowering effects and use as a radical scavenger, its characteristics appear to be ideal. Also, a lot of data exists backing up its safety and efficiency. I cannot see any drawback to using erythritol if used properly. Apart from glycine, to date, there is no powder used for low-abrasive air polishing offering those advantages.

What have your experiences been regarding feedback from dental professionals and patients?
The general feedback is how usable and reliable erythritol is, so you can say that it is highly appreciated.

Why should dental professionals watch your lecture, “Safety of erythritol powder in oral health”, during the 24-hour webinar?
I hope that, after having watched the lecture, dental professionals will be familiar with this powder and better understand its benefits. I intentionally put a focus on safety, because there is still great prejudice concerning the use of air polishing for subgingival debridement. We have to talk about unwanted effects too though, like emphysema. If used correctly however, air polishing with erythritol is a safe and ideal way to complement or even enhance periodontal therapy.

As part of the 24-hour webinar, which will be hosted by EMS and the Swiss Dental Academy and broadcast live starting on 23 November at 1 p.m. CET, Petersilka will be holding a lecture titled “Safety of erythritol powder in oral health. His presentation is scheduled to start on 23 November at 3 p.m. CET. During the English-language webinar, he will be discussing how to choose and use a safe and convenient air polishing technique, using erythritol-based abrasives as the main examples. Attendance of the webinar is free of charge. Dental professionals interested in attending the online webinar can find more information and may register at www.24hdentalwebinar.com.

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