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  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assisting
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): John F. Kross, DMD, MSc
Peer Reviewer(s): Toni M. Roucka, RN, DDS, MA
Item#: L0736
Contents: 1 Course Book (30 pages)
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Tooth Polishing, 2nd Edition

Price $29.95
Item # L0736
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: July 30, 2013

Review Date: May 20, 2016

Expiration Date: May 19, 2019


The focus of dental hygiene services is the oral prophylaxis. This involves scaling – the removal of supragingival and subgingival calculus – and coronal polishing. As defined by the American Academy of Periodontology, oral prophylaxis is the “removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the exposed and unexposed surfaces of the teeth by scaling and polishing as a preventive measure for the control of local irritational factors.”

Appropriate for all members of the dental team, this basic-level course describes the most recent research on tooth polishing, including its effects on tooth structure and enamel and discusses traditional rubber-cup polishing as well as contraindications to the use of oral prophylaxis pastes.  The course presents the evolution of air polishing, its effects on gingiva, hard tooth structures, and dental restorations, as well as its indications and contraindications. Criteria for patient selection, preparation for air polishing, and air polishing techniques are outlined as well as steps for air polishing unit cleanup. Case scenarios highlight the concepts presented and reinforce learning.

AGD Subject Code: 490

Western Schools designates this activity for 3 continuing education credits.


Course Objectives

  • Outline when tooth polishing is indicated.
  • Compare and contrast rubber-cup polishing and air polishing.
  • Describe current research findings concerning the effects of air polishing on oral soft tissues, oral hard tissues, and dental restorative materials.
  • List the indications and contraindications for patient selection and treatment with the air polishing system.
  • Describe the preparation, precautions, and preventive/protective measures necessary for using the air polishing system.
  • Explain the clinical procedures and protocols for oral air polishing.
  • Describe the required regimen to properly clean, maintain, and sterilize the air polishing system components according to the manufacturer’s directions and within OSHA compliance.


John F. Kross, MSc, DMD, received his doctorate in dental medicine from Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He completed a fellowship at Temple University Hospital in oral oncology and received a hospital appointment to the Department of Dentistry at the Medical Centers of Delaware (now the Christiana Health Care System). His professional training and experience include practicing general dentistry in Wilmington, Delaware, and in New London, Pennsylvania, as well as instructing students at Delaware Technical Community College in oral pathology. Dr. Kross has received numerous academic awards for his work in oral surgery, fixed partial prosthodontics, periodontics, and endodontics. He has been composing  monographs, manuscripts, and continuing medical education courses since 1991.


Toni M. Roucka, RN, DDS, MA, is an associate professor of restorative dentistry and associate dean for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine in Alton, Illinois. She maintains an active nursing license and is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and immediate president of the American Society for Dental Ethics. Dr. Roucka obtained her DDS degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and master’s degree in population health – bioethics from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Dr. Roucka is a nationally recognized speaker on the subject of ethics in dentistry and has taught restorative dentistry at both Marquette University and Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.