by Dr Angela Yogarajah, St Clair Dentist, NSW
We use this ultrasonic scaler when clients come in for their six-monthly clean and check-up. We also use it for periodontal treatments. It’s a very effective tool that efficiently removes any calculus and plaque.
What’s good about it
It has a vibrating tip that we move around every single tooth so that it vibrates off all plaque and calculus. It also has a water jet that flushes off the debris as it cleans.
It’s the sort of tool that patients love to hate. They love feeling nice and fresh at the end of the clean, but they don’t enjoy the procedure. It’s the sound and vibration of the scaler that’s discomforting. Most people have heavy deposits of calculus on their lower anterior teeth, and that area can be quite sensitive. No-one enjoys the process of chipping off those heavy deposits that have been there for a while. But, as I mentioned, patients love the fresh clean feel it provides.
We’ve owned this scaler for about eight years and never had any problems with it. We use it multiple times a day so it’s a hardy piece of equipment. A new ultrasonic tip and handpiece is used for each patient. You need to ensure that the tip is not loose or it won’t vibrate properly. It’s really satisfying when you complete a good, thorough clean and remove those big chunks of calculus.
What’s not so good
The only negative to this tool is that it makes quite a bit of noise. Patients are often put off by the scraping chalkboard sound and as you work your way around to the back of the mouth, it creates a ringing in the ears. I’m not sure if it’s possible to make this tool silent but it would be a great improvement.