Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a dental water jet on plaque biofilm removal using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Methodology: Eight teeth with advanced aggressive periodontal disease were extracted. Ten thin slices were cut from four teeth. Two slices were used as the control. Eight were inoculated with saliva and incubated for 4 days. Four slices were treated using a standard jet tip, and four slices were treated using an orthodontic jet tip. The remaining four teeth were treated with the orthodontic jet tip but were not inoculated with saliva to grow new plaque biofilm. All experimental teeth were treated using a dental water jet for 3 seconds on medium pressure.
Results: The standard jet tip removed 99.99% of the salivary (ex vivo) biofilm, and the orthodontic jet tip removed 99.84% of the salivary biofilm. Observation of the remaining four teeth by the naked eye indicated that the orthodontic jet tip removed significant amounts of calcified (in vivo) plaque biofilm. This was confirmed by SEM evaluations.
Conclusion: The Waterpik dental water jet (Water Pik, Inc, Fort Collins, CO) can remove both ex vivo and in vivo plaque biofilm significantly.