It used to be that a visit to the dentist for a professional cleaning involved uncomfortable scraping of the teeth by a hand-held device with a hook on the end. Thanks to the advent of ultrasonic scaling technology, that same job is done using water and high-frequency vibrations.
When applied to the teeth, the high-frequency vibrations created by the ultrasonic scaling device crush hardened plaque and film to bits, while the stream of water blasts it away. It is even more effective than hand-scaling devices at cleaning pockets greater than 4 mm. It is also gentler on your teeth than hand scraping.
Some of the biggest benefits to patients are that the ultrasonic scaling device cleans faster with less pressure. This means that you will feel less discomfort during the process and spend less time in the chair receiving treatment.
In addition to being used during prophylaxis (regular teeth cleaning), ultrasonic scaling can also be part of other procedures such as full-mouth debridement, gingival bacterial reduction, site-specific laser therapy and periodontal maintenance.
Although it is a very commonly used instrument, there are some situations where an ultrasonic scaling device is not always the best choice:
- Pacemaker wearers–ultrasonic scaling can adversely affect pacemakers if they are not the shielded type. Inform Dr. DeAndrade immediately if you have one implanted.
- Areas of the teeth with evidence of demineralization
- Porcelain or composite restorations*
- Titanium implants*
*Ultrasonic scaling may still be used if a special tip is installed to prevent scratching.
The best way to deal with periodontal disease is to prevent it before it starts. Ultrasonic scaling is just one of the many dental treatments that Anthem Periodontics offers to our patients. Call today to schedule an evaluation of your overall periodontal health.