OHI: Scaling, Ultrasonic Scaler

An ultrasonic scaler is used to get rid of calculus faster away of a tooth surface. The tool has a tip which transmits the power used in scaling and it is then cooled using jet of water.

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Highest quality dental tools are used to help tartar and calculus

Oral hygiene along with six month checks are ideal to reduce risk of gum disease and cavities

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How ultrasonic scaler system works

A scaling tip works by vibrating and it follows the pattern set according to the type of the scaler and its power rating.  It can make a pattern of figure 8, curved or elliptical line.   Water gets energized when it passes over a tip of water and it offers cavitation which will result into the scouring action. Since there is a heat which can be generated on the tip, it is important to ensure that the tip will be moving on the teeth.

It is recommended that each tooth should be treated at least in 10 seconds and the pressure to use should not go over one once. When the tip is pressed hard it will stop to vibrate and it will reduce effectiveness of cleaning. With high pressure, the tip may concentrate the heat in just one area which may damage the pulp. The right practice is choosing four or three teeth and to scale them at once in order to reduce the overheating of just one tooth.

The tip uses a lavage: a stream of water that contains antibacterial mouthwash comes from near the tip to reduce the heat of the scaler tip and flush away the debris at the area which had been treated. A vibrating tip will cause the water to break in small bubbles and this is what it is known as cavitation. It ruptures the wall of the bacteria and it helps to create an environment which is not that hospitable to the harmful bacteria.

The latest inserts are longer and thinner and they may be used to clean subgingival pockets by disrupting and removing of the subgingival plaque while irrigating this area.  When the tip is thinner, it reads to finer action.

Why ultrasonic scaling is important

After the tooth cleaning at the dentist office, a person will feel fresh and the teeth will look brighter. However, cleaning is not only about the appearance. It is the way of preventing and treating gum disease and there are many studies that demonstrate that there is a certain link between the overall systematic health and periodontal health.  This means cleaning teeth regularly is beneficial to the entire body.

As the time passes, dental plaques with stains build up at the surface. Dental calculus also known as tartar can be found below and above gum line. Undergoing a thorough cleaning will help in cleaning such substance and it keeps the bacteria that cause decay to stay away.

Teeth cleaning is normally done using a non surgical method known as scaling and sometime it is called a root debridement. It is a painless procedure and only small instruments will be used in order to remove the deposit away of the surface of a tooth.  Before, scaling was being done using manual tools, now it is possible to use ultrasonic scaler to achieve better results faster. Even if the ultrasonic scaler is found in many types, they all work in one fashion.

Ultrasonic scaling compared to hand scaling

According to the studies, it has been found out that at ultrasonic cleaning takes at least one third less time in comparison to the hand scaling. This means that the person requires less time while in a chair.  People choose to be treated with ultrasonic scaler instead the manual scaler since the technicians will use less force.  With ultrasonic scaling, only the tip can touch the tooth surface and this is for a short period.

It is possible to get rid of tartar and plaque away of the gum line through using the smallest tip found in the ultrasonic unit. This will cause no discomfort while it leads to better and deeper cleaning. In some instance, the ultrasonic scaler may be used at the beginning and if there are still some stained areas, they will be cleaned by hand.

Who needs ultrasonic scaling?

Any person who suffer enough tartar build up and who may suffer gum disease, they will benefit the use of the ultrasonic scaling. It will help in removing the stains caused by cigarettes and coffee and others. With all the power of the unit, people will experience less or little discomfort while the procedure is being performed. For someone who has sensitive teeth, the dentist can alleviate the discomfort when he uses slimmer tips on the scaler. A topical anesthetic can also be used or a patient may be given conscious sedation. The flow of lavage, the power range or the frequency of the tip vibration can be adjusted to ensure better comfort.

Whenever there is a need to clean the teeth, then ultrasonic scaler can be used regardless of it is below or above the gum line. The treatment may be used like preventive measures for the people who may suffer gum disease. In some cases, the ultrasonic scalers can be used together with hand tools to ensure the highest cleaning results.

There are some tips that have been developed to clean the porcelain or composite tooth restoration, the de-mineralized area or titanium implants.  Anyone who has a cardiac pacemaker, he should let the dentist known about it so that he can be extra careful.

Advantages of using ultrasonic scaler

  • It is effective and faster if it is used in the proper way. There is a light touch at the tooth in the shortest time possible
  • Subgingival work can be done by using the right tip
  • It is known as the best method in cleaning the teeth in terms of the comfort, safety and effectiveness.

Disadvantages of using ultrasonic scaler

  • If extra care is not taken, then damage on the tooth can take place
  • The standard beavertail shape tips will not be used on subgingival, only special tips are allowed
  • Handpieces may heat up during the procedure when the water pressure fails.

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