What Is Ultrasonic Scaling?
“Scaling” is the removal of hard deposits on the surface of the tooth. When bacteria in the mouth builds into plaque and tartar on the teeth, it may cause the gums to become inflamed and pull away from the teeth. This can create pockets filled with plaque that normal flossing and brushing will not remove, causing problems that lead to gum disease.
How Does an Ultrasonic Scaler Work?
The ultrasonic scaler deep–cleans the teeth. Ultrasonic scalers create vibrational energy that loosen calculus and create “shockwaves” that disrupt bacterial formation.
Ultrasonic scaling instruments have shown to be significantly more effective than manual scalers when it comes to removing plaque in deep root pockets, but with less impact on the tooth structure and overall minimal damage to the roots of the teeth.
Ultrasonic Scaling and Root Planing: SRP
Ultrasonic scaling is often done in tandem with Root Planing. This procedure is referred to as an SRP (Scaling and Root Planing). Root Planing is a procedure that smooths the roots of the teeth, which helps the gums reattach to the teeth. Root Planing helps prevent bone and tissue loss.
How Long Does Ultrasonic Scaling Take?
Depending on the severity of the periodontitis (gum disease), it may take less than half an hour, or it may take multiple sessions to complete the treatment.
Who Needs an Ultrasonic Scaling Treatment?
Nearly half of American adults need an Ultrasonic Scaling Treatment! In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) published findings that periodontal gum disease and periodontitis affect 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States.1 Citing this study in July 2015, the Journal of the American Dental Association indicated that SRP is beneficial to patients with chronic periodontitis.2
Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and also the loosening of teeth, but with ultrasonic scaling, SRP, and regular checkups, it can be prevented or caught early.
The staff at Distinctive Dentistry uses state-of-the-art ultrasonic scaling equipment combined with proven expertise. Dr. Keith Phillips has over 25 years of experience in sedation dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and prosthodontics. He is one of the only Board-Certified prosthodontists in the Seattle area, and is a contributing author to the book, “Implant Aesthetics.”
Distinctive Dentistry is located just off the I-5 freeway in Fife, WA, serving patients in the greater Tacoma area, including Gig Harbor, Federal Way, and Puyallup.
Make an appointment with Distinctive Dentistry today to find out how you can benefit from our latest technology and get the best care for your best smile!
1 Thornton-Evans, G., Eke, P., Wei, L. et al. Periodontitis among adults aged ≥30 years: United States, 2009-2010. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2013; 62: 129–135.
2 Smiley, Christopher J., DDS, Tracy, Sharon L., PhD, et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis on the nonsurgical treatment of chronic periodontitis by means of scaling and root planing with or without adjuncts. Journal of the American Dental Association. 2015; 146; 7: 508-524. Retrieved from: https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(15)00346-3/fulltext#sec1.2.