One of the first steps in maintaining a healthy smile is to schedule cleanings every six months for optimum results in oral health. There are some people who's body chemistry may produce a greater build up of plaque which could form pockets between gums and teeth which hardens into deposits known as calculus or tartar. A trained professional hygienist removes deposits such as plaque and calculus by using hand-held scalers or ultrasonic power scalers. Hand scaling is more commonly performed since the ultrasonic scaler is typically used for specific applications.
An ultrasonic power scaler is an instrument that uses the energy of ultrasonic vibration to crush and remove the hardened calcified deposits of calculus. The shockwaves also disrupt the bacterial cells. This tool is also able to wash and flush the pockets and any exposed root surface with water. Ultrasonic scalers are as effective as manual instruments for calculus removal in shallow gum pockets and even more effective in pockets greater than 4 mm. The small tips can penetrate deeper in to the periodontal pockets as well as various nooks and crannies than manual instruments and is a more comfortable experience. Power scalers may affect some heart pacemakers. Hand scaling can also be more appropriate in most cases because it is easier on the tooth's surface to hand scale. Hand scaling is better for sensitive teeth, porcelain or composite restorations
Patients who have gum disease need the most effective cleaning methods available, so they can benefit greatly from an ultrasonic cleaning. It can reach down below the lining of the gums to clear away the hard to reach plaque and calculus deposits that a hand scraper can’t quite reach. Since there’s no actual physical pressure on the tooth, patients who have periodontal disease, which causes the teeth to loosen, can safely receive an ultrasonic cleaning with no worry that it might dislodge a loose tooth.
Not only is ultrasonic cleaning more effective than standard cleaning, it’s also faster and more efficient. It has actually been shown to decrease the occurrence of gingivitis and other gum diseases, because more plaque is able to be removed. There are certain stains that a hand cleaning just can’t fully remove, stains like those caused by cigarettes or coffee, and an ultrasonic cleaning is sometimes able to pull these off and leave the teeth whiter and healthier.
Timothy C. Adams, DDS, D.ACSDD, LVIM is accepting new patients. Please contact us and set up an appointment to keep your smile brighter and healthier.