What are Ultrasonic Cleanings?
Most people try to avoid trips to the dentist's office like the plague. However, having your teeth cleaned isn't as bad as you think it is, and it's necessary for a healthy, plaque-free mouth. Without regular cleanings, dental plaque and tartar can build up and eventually lead to bad breath and gum disease, no matter how well you brush. There is a fairly new cleaning method employed at many dentists’ offices that allows for painless cleaning. It's called an ultrasonic cleaning, and it is one of the most efficient cleaning methods to both clean your teeth and minimize pain.
Ultrasonic cleaners are not necessarily new, although they have only recently seen widespread use in the dentistry field. They were originally used in the 1950's to clean aircraft parts. The technology has evolved and it has now been fine tuned to a level that allows delicate and effective cleaning of teeth. The scaler vibrates at an extremely high frequency that will actually cause the plaque to fall right off the tooth. Not only will an ultrasonic cleaning remove plaque, but it will get rid of tarter and a hardened, calcified form of tarter called calculus that is difficult to remove with a mere scraping. The frequency of the vibrations is fine-tuned so that it literally disintegrates all the tartar and plaque without affecting the enamel of the teeth in the slightest. Water shooting out of the tip of the scaler will wash all the tiny pieces out of the way.
With the scraping methods previously employed, the tip of the scaler would sometimes scratch or chip the surface of the enamel, causing harm to the tooth, but ultrasonic cleanings don't do any harm to the teeth, and as the vibrations are the only thing really touching the teeth - making the procedure completely painless.
Patients who have gum disease need to most effective cleaning methods available, so they can benefit greatly from an ultrasonic cleaning. It can reach down below the lining of the gums to clear away the hard to reach plaque and calculus deposits that a hand scraper can't quite reach. Since there's no actual physical pressure on the tooth, patients who have periodontal disease, which causes the teeth to loosen, can safely receive an ultrasonic cleaning with no worry that it might dislodge a loose tooth.
Not only is ultrasonic cleaning more effective than standard cleaning, it's also faster and more efficient. It has actually been shown to decrease the occurrence of gingivitis and other gum diseases, because more plaque is able to be removed. There are certain stains that a hand cleaning just can't fully remove, stains like those caused by cigarettes or coffee, and an ultrasonic cleaning is able to pull these off and leave the teeth whiter and healthier.