Ultrasonic Scaling

When you think back to the first generation of ultrasonic scalers, you realize how far dentistry has progressed. Many different types, designs, and uses for scalers are available today. The original ultrasonic scaler, though, was designed to remove decay.

During the past few years, I used one of those "ancient" units daily, but only for removing calculus. This proved a theory, my fellow hygienists, that dentists have great difficulty spending money on their hygiene departments.

While using the "old timer," I first felt like a woodpecker just pecking away at the enamel. No matter how low I turned down the unit's frequency, it still seemed too aggressive and dangerous.

If for some reason, you are not using an ultrasonic scaler routinely in your dental practice, then I must ask the question, "Why not?"

In hygiene school, we had the opportunity to use an ultrasonic scaler only a few times. It was really more of a practice session. Because of that limited exposure, I wasn't sure if I believed in ultrasonic technology. The initial impression was that it was too difficult to see what I was doing due to having all of that water to deal with. More experience with ultrasonics over the years has helped shaped my thoughts and opinions. I now could not possibly practice without an ultrasonic scaler.

The two very popular types of ultrasonic scalers today are magnetostrictive and piezoelectric.