Ultrasonic Dental Cleaning

Teeth before and after ultrasonic dental cleaning

Ultrasonic Dental Cleaning


There are many oral health habits that your dentist will encourage you to avoid, such as smoking or excessive sugar consumption, and many oral health habits that your dentist will encourage you to adhere to, such as brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. Some of these habits may seem obvious, while others may leave you wondering. For example, you may understand that brushing and flossing your teeth is helpful, but you may wonder why you have to also visit your dentist every six months.

The reason your dentist encourages you to brush your teeth at least twice every day and floss your teeth at least once every day is because doing so helps to remove the leftover food particles and plaque that can build up there. Since plaque is literally teeming with harmful oral bacteria, its removal is absolutely essential to preserving one’s oral health and comfort. Unfortunately, the truth is that even rigorous oral hygiene habits cannot effectively remove all plaque from your teeth. What is left can build up into tartar over time, which is impossible for you to remove from your teeth at home. This is why your dentist also encourages you to visit them twice a year for dental examinations and cleanings–so they can help you protect your oral health by removing any remaining plaque and tartar from your teeth.

You may notice that a key part of dental cleanings is the scaling of your teeth. This is when your dentist uses a special instrument, called a scaler, to scrape your teeth and remove whatever tartar may have built up there. Needless to say, while scaling is necessary to preserving your oral health, it is often viewed as one of the least pleasant and most uncomfortable aspects of dental cleanings. Fortunately, there is a more comfortable way to effectively clean the surfaces of your teeth–with ultrasonic dental cleaning.

What is Ultrasonic Dental Cleaning

With ultrasonic dental cleaning, your dentist uses an ultrasonic scaler to remove tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. This ultrasonic scaler vibrates at a very low, undetectable level, and this creates sound waves that literally break apart hardened tartar. Water that flows from the end of the ultrasonic scaler washes away the debris, and your teeth feel smooth and clean.

Ultrasonic dental cleaning is very useful where individuals have a large buildup of dental tartar, which cannot be removed at home with a toothbrush or dental floss and which would require a considerable amount of scraping with a traditional metal scaler. It is also useful where individuals are suffering from periodontal disease and require root planing and tooth scaling. Periodontal disease can create periodontal pockets, which are areas below the surface of the gums that are filled with plaque, tartar and bacteria. The bacteria in these periodontal pockets can attack gum and bone tissue, which can eventually lead to tooth loss and other problems and complications. Root planing and tooth scaling is a very deep dental cleaning that can help to resolve the problems that are causing and are caused by periodontal disease, and ultrasonic dental cleaning can help with this.

Some of the benefits of ultrasonic dental cleaning include:

  • It’s faster than traditional dental cleaning with metal scalers because it removes more hardened tartar at once.
  • It can help to limit the progression of gum disease when it’s in its early stages.
  • It’s usually far more comfortable than traditional dental cleaning with metal scalers.
  • It can help to reduce the appearance of tooth stains, which can potentially create an even whiter, brighter smile than is achieved through traditional dental cleaning.

There are some instances where your dentist may follow up ultrasonic dental cleaning with traditional scaling. This is because while ultrasonic dental cleaning can remove large deposits of hardened tartar, your dentist may need to use a metal scaler to remove the little bits of tartar that are left behind. However, the amount of manual scaling that is needed is far less when one first receives ultrasonic dental cleaning.

Due to the fact that ultrasonic dental cleaning uses sound waves, it may not be appropriate for all patients–such as those who have pacemakers. For more information about ultrasonic dental cleaning and to find out whether it is an option for you, contact Dr. Nurminsky today.

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