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One for all: Vector® celebrates its 20th anniversary

The medical connections between periodontitis and biofilm are sufficiently well known, as is the fact that periodontal diseases are now the main cause of tooth loss on adults and have thus overtaken the number of cases of dental caries. Various methods are available for the treatment of this widespread disease, all of which have the same goal: to control the bacteria that are responsible for development of the disease. However, there are major differences between these techniques when it comes to the efficiency and patient-friendliness of the treatments. The ultrasound-based Vector® system from Dürr Dental has revolutionised periodontal treatment and is still seen as the most effective yet gentle method for dealing with plaque as part of a successful periodontal, periimplantitis and maintenance therapy. This year the Vector® celebrates its 20th anniversary.

For the dentist, the biggest challenge associated with periodontitis/periimplantitis treatment has always been to treat the periodontitis in a manner that focuses on its causes. Periodontal disease is influenced by different risk factors. The key factor in the development of periodontal disease is the presence of periodontal pathogens in the gingival pocket or in the periimplantary sulcus. A central element in the treatment of this disease, for which there are many different causes, is the subgingival removal of biofilm and concrement with simultaneous preservation of regenerative tissue.

For decades, cleaning the periodontal pockets with manual instruments was seen as the method of choice. This was often associated with great time and effort for the therapist, and the procedure was often painful for the patient. However, over the years more and more dentists came to the conclusion that the invasive removal of concrement and inflamed tissue tends to obstruct regeneration. This prompted the world of dentistry to search for alternative solutions. Sonic and ultrasonic instruments established themselves as an alternative to the classic manual instruments for gentler cleaning of the root surface without cutting instruments. The purpose here was to achieve effective cleaning while preserving regenerative tissue. Based on the direction of oscillation, conventional sonic and ultrasonic instruments do not operate without vibrations when they remove deposits. This causes irritation and leads to loss of substance at the root surface.

The introduction of the Vector® principle from Dürr Dental represented a real breakthrough in 1999 and revolutionised periodontitis treatment. The high standards of the three types of unit available today (Vector® Paro with Paro handpiece, Vector® Scaler with Scaler handpiece and Vector® Paro Pro with both handpieces) are the result of a unique development history written by Dürr Dental as a pioneer in the field of linear vibration deflection both in the past and in the future. Thanks to the 90° deflection of the ultrasonic vibrations, the instruments in the Vector® series only move axially parallel to the root surface, which enables vibration-free and minimally-invasive treatment. This allows clinically efficient treatment with no trauma when using ultrasonic energy. The linear direction of movement and the large selection of individually shaped instruments make it easier to work even in anatomically difficult to access areas. The tooth substance remains intact, and instead the biofilm and hard deposits are removed thoroughly yet more gently than with any other system, leaving behind smooth, clean surfaces that make every patient's smile brighter.

Another advantage of the Vector® method is that it also gives therapists the option of using a polishing suspension with the rinsing fluid. The addition of this polishing suspension based on hydroxyapatite aids the removal of subgingival biofilm and also smooths the root surface. The Vector® Fluid Polish specially developed for this purpose by Dürr Dental optimises the polishing and reduces hypersensitivity after the treatment by sealing dentin tubules and thus minimising the transmission of pain stimuli.

Thanks to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, patients respond very positively to the Vector® method. In recent years, the Vector® system has taken up a fixed position in periodontal maintenance treatment and is thus helping many patients to be able to keep their teeth for a lifetime.

Thanks to the advantages mentioned, the Vector® method is now an indispensable part of periodontal and periimplantitis therapy and prophylaxis treatment. The unique technology is also a reflection of the system-based approach of Dürr Dental, a recurring theme that runs through all the divisions of the company true to the motto: "The best by design".

This year's major anniversary of the Vector® system not only stands for 20 years of successful periodontitis treatment with a unique complete system for subgingival and supragingival applications – it is also a milestone for the further development of the system.

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