Ultrasonic Scaling

Introduction –Ultrasonic Scaling

Ultrasonic scaling technology makes use of high frequency sound waves setting vibrations in a suitable cleansing solution that will literally scrub the dirty surface of the teeth at a microscopic level. This technology is used similarly in cleaning metals, rubber, plastics, and even cloth.

The human tooth is not like the materials used in cars and industrial machines. It is made mostly of fragile calcium. An ultrasonic teeth cleaner is more like a dental scaler. The device has a scaling tip that vibrates at high frequencies and generates ultrasonic waves.

The ultrasonic teeth cleaning are considered completely safe.
During dental scaling, the scaling tip gets heated up due to intense sonic vibration. Therefore, a continuous stream of water is used to keep it cool. The main role of the water stream is to serve as a cleaning solvent. The sound waves create microscopic vacuum bubbles while passing through the liquid. These bubbles implode on the surface of the tooth. This process kills microbes present on the teeth, and removes plaque and tartar in the process.

Benefits – Ultrasonic Scaling:

  1. The procedure does not use chemicals that may harm the teeth or the gum line. It only requires water.
  2. It is more effective than manual scraping. It can remove the tartar in hard-to-reach areas manually and also minimizes the damage to the tooth enamel. Manual scraping requires certain skill amd dexterity on part of the dentist. Even a slight slip may result to serious oral problems. This risk is avoided in ultrasonic scaling.
  3. They are more effective than manual instruments for calculus removal in gum pockets greater than 4mm.
  4. They are very effective in disrupting biofilm from root surfaces and periodontal pockets. This property is very helpful when patients require frequent cleanings.
  5. When used correctly, they are kinder to tooth structure especially when repeated cleanings are needed.
  6. Coolant sprays provide irrigation or flushing of the area, which improves healing by removing bacteria and their bi-products.
  7. Irrigation also improves the visibility of the dentist while scaling.
  8. The vibration produced by the scaling tip of an ultrasonic cleaner is barely perceptible. This makes ultrasonic cleaning suitable for patients with sensitive teeth.
  9. The cleaning process is relatively faster than manual scraping.

Precautions

Ultrasonic teeth cleaning give an advanced option for dental hygiene. However, some degree of caution must be exercised. Most dental institutions recommend ultrasonic cleaners for teeth cleaning. However, it is usually not recommended by some dentists for the following groups of people:

  1. Children under 12 years of age. The ultrasonic cleaning requires less time and effort for the hygienist, but a child’s fidgety attitude can lengthen the entire procedure. Since the cleaner is an electrical device, it may even pose some danger. Moreover, a child’s tooth is relatively smaller than adults and can be manually cleaned with less effort.
  2. People with cardiac pacemakers. Ultrasonic cleaners use sound in oral cleaning, but they are still electrical devices. The ultrasonic cleaning process may produce some unwanted electrostatic charges that can interfere with the signal production of pacemakers.
  3. Pregnant Women. Ultrasonic waves are safe for pregnant women, as they are commonly used to monitor the development of the fetus. However, pregnant women can be quite sensitive to electrostatic fields. These fields may pose some danger not only to the expectant mother, but also to the unborn child.

Some additional facts:

  1. Aerosol production (the formation of contaminated “mist”) during the procedure requires protective equipment for eyes of the patient and also for the dentist.
  2. These devices are not recommended for individuals with hypersensitive teeth, primary teeth or newly erupted teeth. Dental sensitivity to temperature changes should be informed to the dentist.
  3. Ultrasonic scalers are not recommended for areas of loss of mineralization, porcelain or composite restorations and titanium implants.

In general, the ultrasonic teeth cleaning are considered completely safe. However, the ultrasonic power scaling techniques require an experienced clinician with good tactile sensitivity (sense of touch) to remove deposits effectively and restore a smile.

- Link of interest: Twitter Ultrasonic Scaling – Dental Treatment.

 

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

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