It’s important to understand that professional tooth cleaning is not just about appearances, as it is the primary means of preventing and treating periodontal (gum) disease. Over time, studies have proven that a link between periodontal health and overall (systemic) health may exist. That is to say that regular tooth cleaning may benefit not just your mouth, but your entire body system.
Does that make teeth necessary? Yes!
Over time, dental plaque and stains build-up on tooth surfaces, leading to the formation of dental calculus (tartar – a harder deposit) both above and below the gum line. A thorough dental cleaning, however, removes these substances from the teeth, and aids in keeping disease-causing bacteria from multiplying.
The cleaning is usually accomplished by the non-surgical technique of scaling, sometimes called “root debridement.” It is, for the most part, a relatively painless procedure involving the use of small dental instruments in physically removing deposits from the surfaces of teeth.
There was a period when scaling was done manually, several years ago, but with the advancements in science and technology, the ultrasonic scaler has been created — thereby replacing the use of old and unattractive tools).
What Is An Ultrasonic Scaler?
Although there are different types of ultrasonic scalers, they all work similarly. They operate by using electromagnetic forces in the unit’s hand-held “wand;” thereby, causing its tiny tip to vibrate rapidly. The vibrations, which occur at a rate faster than the speed of sound, in turn, blast away plaque, calculus, and stains from the tooth surfaces.
The scaler emits a small stream of water and/or antibacterial mouthwash, from an opening near the tip of the scaler. The liquid is called lavage. Lavage is implored to cool the ultrasonic scaler’s tip and flush-out debris that must have been deposited at the area of treatment.
A lot of water will be broken into millions of bubbles due to the vibrating tip – this is called cavitation. It goes to rupture the walls of bacterial cells and aids in creating an inhospitable environment for the harmful bacteria.
Ultrasonic Scaling vs. Hand Scaling
Research has proven that a thorough ultrasonic cleaning takes about one-third less time that a hand scaling would take. In other words, a patient would spend less time in the chair.
Again, a vast majority of patients prefer ultrasonic to other types of scaling, since the former requires less force to achieve the same result. In addition to the above, ultrasonic scaling only requires the tip of the tool to touch the surface of the tooth for only a brief period of time.
Ultrasonics makes it possible for deposits of plaque and tartar from under the gum line to be removed by using an extremely small tip on an ultrasonic unit, causing less discomfort and resulting in a deeper and better cleaning. You must also be aware that in some situations, the use of ultrasonic scaler comes first, and any difficult areas will be scaled by hand.
One’s Experience Using Ultrasonic Scaling
Due to the power of the Ultrasonic, most patients experience little or no discomfort during the procedure. And persons who have a substantial -build-up of tartar, or people who are prone to gum disease can easily benefit from ultrasonic scaling. It also helps in removing stains from coffee and cigarettes.
Another available option open to the patient is the application of a topical anesthetic or conscious sedation. The doctor will adjust the power range, the interval of tip vibration, and how much lavage water flows in, to suit the patient’s comfort.
Special guidelines to clean composite, such as a porcelain tooth treatment and titanium implants are also made available. The same applies to the areas of eroded enamel on your teeth. Special conditions, such as a patient’s possession of a cardiac pacemaker, must be brought to the attention of all dental professionals/personnel before ultrasonic scaling treatment, for proper precautions to be taken.