I recently got my hands on an Emmi-dent toothbrush to try out. Like most dentists, I like new gadgetry and technology. So this new piece of kit certainly captured my interest. But what is so different about it?
This product uses 100% ultrasound technology to clean. It produces ultrasonic waves to clean your teeth, as opposed to the traditional mechanical cleaning by way of either a manual or electric brush. The unit generates 96 million oscillations per minute, which create cleaning waves that penetrate deep in around the teeth and gums.
The Emmi-dent brush has only recently been released in the US market, but originally came out in 2004 in Europe. For more information see the manufacturers website here.
The Emmi-dent ultrasound toothbrush looks great, and feels very sturdy but not heavy. It is ergonomically pleasing, obviously well-designed. The battery life is excellent.
But most importantly, how well does it clean? I found the results to be very good. When first using the brush, it can be hard to believe that it is actually cleaning properly. Compared to conventional, physical brushing, this is a much gentler affair. A little bit of faith for the first few days, and then testing with disclosing tablets (learn about these here) proved that it performed perfectly in terms of plaque removal - ’Emmi-dent clean’ in fact . The manufacturers also claim that it is very good at removing stains from teeth, but I was unable to test this (having no staining presently!)
It certainly takes a while to get used to. I found myself occasionally brushing as with a regular brush. Holding it still for a few seconds at a time in each area is counter-intuitive having spent so many years doing otherwise! It does take a little longer to get round all the teeth, but I did tend to focus more on where I was cleaning and for how long in each area, which is a plus. In general, people do tend to clean some areas more than others, which can have long-term effects (over-brushing some areas while neglecting others).
Here is a promotional video from the manufacturers to further explain the features:
So Who Might Benefit From This ‘First Ultrasonic Toothbrush’?
As I have stated elsewhere, I feel that an electric toothbrush is not a necessity for most people. So long as you use even a manual brush correctly and twice daily, that should suffice. But for some, an going electric may be of benefit in the long term. The Emmi-dent reviews favorably in this regard. There are some groups of patients who may really benefit from this gentler, different type of cleaning technology. Such groups may include:
- Those with sensitive teeth may find a reduction in symptoms from using the Emmi-dent. This is particularly true if over-brushing with a traditional brush is a contributing factor to the problem.
- Patients with abrasion. This problem is caused by years of ‘over-brushing’ with resultant wear at the neck of the teeth. Left untreated for long periods, abrasion from over-brushing can cause considerable damage to the teeth. This technology, used properly, should cause no such damge.
- Patients with certain dental treatments (like bridges or implants) or orthodontic appliances in place. Such treatments can be difficult to clean around properly. The Emmident should make cleaning easier in these circumstances. Special brush heads are available for those who have braces.
- People with manual dexterity issues, may find cleaning with this easier. The brush takes all of the ‘work’ out of cleaning your teeth.
A few niggles…
The main downside is the manufacturer’s claim that one has to use their Emm-dent toothpaste with ‘nano bubble technology’ when cleaning. This special toothpaste is formulated to release ‘nano bubbles’, which allow the toothpaste to get deep into the spaces between the teeth. I’m sure the manufacturers know what they are doing, but it would be good to see some research as to how important it is to use their own toothpaste.
There are a few fanciful claims on the brochure that came with the toothbrush. I found the facts to be a little over–hyped in terms of the advantages against conventional toothbrushes. The manufacturers claim the brush gets to areas where floss can’t reach. I would like to see some research to back this up. It is still very important to floss between the teeth after using this brush, in my opinion.
The price may put some people off. It is up there with some of the most expensive electric toothbrushes on the market.
A timer would be a useful addition to the unit. Many of the best dentist recommended toothbrushes have timers which also tell the user when to change ’quadrant’ when brushing. This unit would benefit from such a timer, in my opinion.
In conclusion, I found the Emmi-dent toothbrush to be an excellent product. While not a necessity, there are certain groups of patients who may benefit greatly from this new type of cleaning. I look forward to reading future research on the long term benefits of using this product.
If you want to check it out, the brush is available from Amazon.
Have any experience with the Emmi-dent? Have your say by filling in the comments box below.