Dental plaque and calculus (not the mathematical type) are the main causes of gum and periodontal disease. Both form and attach to the teeth and give Jodi, our dental hygienist, a job. Even the best oral hygiene at home cannot prevent the buildup of plaque and calculus between dental visits. At City of Oaks Dental we have the option of two mechanical means to remove this build up on your teeth - an ultrasonic cleaner or hand scalers.
The ultrasonic cleaner, also known as a cavitron, uses rapid vibrations to remove the calcified deposits left on our teeth by bacteria. Water is used as a flushing agent to remove the detached debris from the mouth. Cavitrons are particularly effective in removing bacteria in the teeth’s gum pockets. Many patients find this cleaning to be comfortable and efficient. Some patients find the water output to be annoying and trigger the need to swallow.
Hand scalers are the traditional metal tools used by the hygienist to scrape all sides of the teeth to remove the calculus and plaque. Hand scalers avoid the profusion of water associated with the cavitron but it can be described as a ‘rough cleaning’ due to the fact that the instruments go between the teeth and under gums.
Studies have shown that ultrasonic cleaners and hand instruments have an equal efficiency in removing dental plaque and calculus. At City of Oaks Dental we will oftentimes used them in conjunction with each other in order to give our patients the best care we can. It does, though, ultimately come down to each patient’s preference. If you have a preference - please let Jodi know.