In addition to the safe and efficient removal of deposits on your teeth, ultrasonic scaling can provide that fresh, squeaky clean feeling that comes with a professional dental cleaning!
We were first introduced to ultrasonic tools back in the 1950’s; however, today, ultrasonic scaling has come a long way and is still utilized as one of the most effective ways to clean teeth. Dentists use these scalers to break up and flush away bacteria and hard deposits that normal tooth brushing can’t reach. Additionally, these tools can break up and remove stains, leaving your teeth not only looking cleaner, but whiter.
If you’ve had your teeth cleaned before, you’ve probably already encountered an ultrasonic scaler. Many dentists and dental hygienists utilize this tool because it is incredibly efficient at eliminating stain, plaque and calculus (tartar) buildup from the surface of the tooth. Removing plaque and tartar buildup also helps rid your mouth of harmful bacteria that can cause diseases such as gingivitis. This makes the ultrasonic scaler an effective tool in preventing gum disease.
How Do Ultrasonic Scalers Operate?
There are two principal types of ultrasonic scalers – piezoelectric and magnetostrictive. However, both function in the same manner, using electromagnetic forces that run through the unit and cause the tip to rapidly vibrate. The magnetostrictive scaler vibrates in an elliptical motion, and the piezoelectric scaler moves linearly. Because the vibration reaches speeds of about 25,000 to 45,000 times per second, it is considered “ultrasonic.”
Dentists and dental hygienists use the scaler’s tip to break up hard deposits on the surface of the tooth without causing structural damage to the tooth itself. Smaller, finer tips can be used on the more sensitive areas of the tooth, like the root. Because the ultrasonic scaler is so precise and efficient, it can quickly remove stains and plaque from the surface of the teeth, cutting down on the patient’s time in chair. However, because the tip vibrates so rapidly, we have to constantly rinse the mouth with water (a process called lavage) to keep the instrument cool.
Lavage also aids the ultrasonic scaling method by washing away the debris that comes from the deposit removal, and by producing cavitation. Cavitation is the formation of bubbles in the mouth which helps rid the mouth of bacteria by disturbing the bacteria’s environment and rupturing the bacteria’s cell walls. As an additional benefit, antimicrobials can be added to the lavage water.
Is Ultrasonic Scaling for You?
Prior to cleaning, it is important to let us know what kind of dental treatments or surgeries you’ve had previously. Accommodations for veneers, implants, or sensitive areas can be made by using unique tips that are specifically made for these types of circumstances. Patients that have cardiac pacemakers should also notify us before any dental treatment begins.
Ultrasonic scaling has stood the test of time and is still one of the most efficacious and essential ways to prevent gum disease in modern dentistry.
Call our office today to set up an appointment with Dr. Zach Brumbach and his dental professional team if you are in need of dentures.