Tools of the trade: GC Tri Plaque ID Gel

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plaque disclosing gel

by Dr Peter Norton, Dental on Clarke, Crows Nest, NSW

GC Tri Plaque ID Gel is a plaque disclosing gel that gives more information than a standard single-colour disclosing gel. It helps to differentiate between new plaque, established plaque, and acid-producing plaque. 

What’s good about it? 

I use this gel before doing most of my scale and clean procedures. I check that the patients don’t have a ‘big life event’ in the next two hours, just in case there’s a bit of purple left on their lips or the tongue. I then apply vaseline or papaw ointment to the lips to keep off as much colour as possible.

Like any disclosing gel, it causes plaque to show up very obviously. I apply the gel using a soft toothbrush because it’s a lot faster than using a microbrush or a bristle brush. I’m going to send the patient home with a toothbrush anyway, so I just give them the toothbrush I used as an applicator. I then rinse the teeth and see where the colours remain. The patient holds a mirror and I explain the difference between pink newly formed plaque, dark blue established plaque, and light blue acid-producing plaque. 

It’s very compelling for patients when they can clearly see the plaque on their teeth. It’s useful for me because I know I’m effectively cleaning all the plaque away. I then demonstrate how to clean using an electric toothbrush. The gel is an excellent motivation tool. 

What’s not so good? 

There’s a potential for staining collateral tissues—the lips, tongue and gums. You also need to be careful not to stain the patient’s clothes. I tend to just add an extra bib for clothing protection.

Where did you get it 

Henry Schein

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