An ultrasonic scaler is a dental tool that we use when performing most adult teeth cleanings. The advancement of this technology is far superior versus traditional hand scraping, making the work be done faster and much more comfortable for the patient. It safely loosens and removes hardened plaque, known in dentistry as tartar or calculus. Using this tool, we can reduce the symptoms of gum disease, increasing your oral health. Ask our team at Van Alstine Family Dentistry for more information on how an ultrasonic scaler can help.
What Is Tartar And Why Does The Hygienist Need To Remove It?
Through the normal use of our teeth, we produce plaque. It is a blend of food particles and saliva created naturally in our mouth. Plaque is the soft, yellowish material that can often be seen between and along the gum line of our teeth. We brush our teeth twice a day to remove plaque while it is still soft, while also removing other food particles and bacteria. We want to remove it because plaque is a breeding material for bacteria. The sugars in the foods we eat are in plaque, and as bacteria feed on the sugars, the bacteria produce an acid that eats away at the enamel, decaying our teeth.
Tartar is a plaque that has been left in place, where it has now dried and hardened. It is darker in color than soft plaque; sometimes it is even black, and difficult to remove. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing alone, and patients who try to scrape it off their teeth are subject to damaging their teeth. However, we do want to remove it. Tartar should only be removed by a dental hygienist, one of the reasons why two annual cleaning appointments are so important. Hygienists are trained to remove tartar without damaging the enamel. This may be done through hand scaling, and often with the assistance of an ultrasonic scaler.
How Does The Ultrasonic Scaler Work?
The ultrasonic scaler uses a vibrating head that rapidly sprays a directed stream of oxygenated bubbles. On a small scale, it essentially power washes your teeth. The oxygenated bubbles cause tiny implosions of heated energy on your teeth, loosening the material without damaging your enamel. Patients love this treatment because it is fast, painless, and thorough.
Periodontal disease also referred to as gum disease or gingivitis, is a bacterial infection in your mouth. There are varying stages of seriousness, and depending on the level, we will have different recommendations. All stages of periodontal disease began with plaque. Plaque is a source of infection in your mouth, and it can cause tooth damage, gum tissue damage, and bone damage. Periodontal disease is the number one reason for tooth loss in adults. We can help you gain control of this bacterial infection through scaling, root planing, and proper hygiene education. An active bacterial infection in your mouth not only damages your teeth but can lead to other health problems; we can help.