My favorite explorer is the ODU 11/12. Mrs. Schneiderman introduced us in dental hygiene school and we have been best friends ever since. It helps detect subgingival calculus and root irregularities with it’s long curvaceous toe.  

With great sadness I divulge that in the majority of offices where I have worked this instrument is nowhere to be found. It was the first request I made when I started my public health job.

I actually care about the bacteria that is making yuck babies under your gums so I need a sub gingival explorer. Hygienists know that a great brusher can have a myriad of chunky bacteria under their gums. Plaque happens. I honestly believe the underuse of my dear ODU 11/12 is one of the reasons why a patient can move from the dental chair to the hygiene chair and go from a prophy to four quads of scaling and root planing. Patients that brush fairly well can have pretty decent looking gingival tissue at first glance, but what lies beneath are knee cap shaped calculus deposits.

I am also perplexed by offices that charge exponential rates for scaling and root planing but do not have any subgingival explorers. I know some of my patients pay nothing but they are as clean as a whistle after scaling and root planing. I feel as though everyone deserves thorough treatment and the ODU is the tool to use. 

ODU 11/12 you are the real MVP.