Ultrasonic Scaling as Part of Dental Treatment

Ultrasonic Scaling as Part of Dental Treatment

What is Ultrasonic scaling?

     “Scaling” is the removal of hard deposits on the surface of the tooth.

     When bacteria in the mouth builds up 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, and normal flossing and brushing will not remove the plaque from these pockets.

     An ultrasonic scaler is an instrument employed to deep-clean the teeth. It can be remarkably effective to remove the plaque that goes below the gum line, gently eradicating sub-gingival calculus from the surface of the roots of the teeth.

  • Ultrasonic scalers create vibrational energy that loosens calculus and creates “shockwaves” that disrupt bacterial formation.
  • Research has shown ultrasonic scaling instruments are significantly more effective than manual scalers when it comes to removing plaque in deep pockets at the root of the tooth.
  • Ultrasonic scalers have less impact than manual scalers on the tooth structure, which enables the removal the tartar and biofilms with minimal damage to the roots of the teeth.

Ultrasonic scaling is often done in tandem with “root planing.” This is referred to as an “SRP”

     “Root planing” is a procedure to smooth the roots of the teeth, which helps the gums reattach to the teeth. This helps prevent bone and tissue loss.

How long does ultrasonic scaling take?

     Depending on the severity of the periodontitis, it may take less than half an hour, or it may take multiple sessions to complete the treatment.

Who needs to have an ultrasonic scaling treatment?

     A July 2015 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association noted that periodontitis gum disease affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States. The study indicated that scaling and root planing (SRP) is beneficial to patients with chronic periodontitis.

Jeanine Campadore and Jean McLaughlin, our Registered Dental Hygienists, each have extensive experience in Periodontics. They use state-of-the-art ultrasonic scaling equipment to ensure you have the best treatment.

Dr. Keith Phillips has over 25 years’ experience in sedation dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and Prosthodontics. He is one of the few prothosdontists in the Seattle area, and is a contributing author to the book “Implant Aesthetics.”

Our office is located just off the freeway in Fife, WA, serving patients in the greater Tacoma area, including Gig Harbor, Federal Way and Puyallup.

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5615 Valley Ave. E., Tacoma, WA 98424


(253) 922-6822


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