While professional dental cleanings aren't something that most people look forward to, most of us grin and bear it. But it's not that easy for others, and we think we know why.
In the past, a dental cleaning usually meant hand scaling where dentists used a sharp, pointy instrument to scrape away dental tartar from around your teeth and under your gums. Unfortunately, this could be an unpleasant experience for sensitive patients.
We have good news, though. A microsonic cleaning (better known as an ultrasonic dental cleaning) uses a special tool to remove the elements that cause dental problems more comfortably. A device known as a microsonic scaler vibrates the tooth and surrounding gums to dislodge dental plaque, dental tartar and endotoxins, the bacteria that contribute to bone loss. In one quick swoop, microsonic scaling breaks up these irritants and washes them all away.
Tradition or Technology?
Daily brushing and flossing will remove dental plaque, but over time, the plaque that's missed will turn into dental tartar. Unfortunately, you can't get rid of dental tartar on your own. Dental tartar is a breeding ground for dental plaque -- and the accumulation of plaque can cause cavities and gum disease. A microsonic dental cleaning or hand scaling is recommended to remove several months' worth of dental plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth and below the gum line.
Many dentists and patients choose microsonic dental cleaning because of its convenience -- it works much faster than traditional hand scaling, eliminating more dental plaque and dental tartar at once. Once the irritants are detached, the microsonic scaler flushes them away with water. Microsonic dental cleanings not only removes tartar more thoroughly, but it often cuts down on the time you spend in the dental chair. For best results, your dentist may combine microsonic and hand scaling to remove as much debris as possible.
Don’t Forget the Gums!
Microsonic scaling is also used for gum disease treatment. The initial treatment for any stage of gum disease usually requires scaling and root planing. During scaling and root planing, a scaler is used to remove dental tartar found in the pockets of the gums. The surface of the tooth is then smoothed to make it harder for dental plaque to reattach itself so the gums can heal. A microsonic scaler is the perfect instrument for this procedure, especially when several treatments are needed.
A Sensitive Subject
Microsonic dental cleaning is much more comfortable than traditional hand scaling. The tip of the microsonic scaler is very small, allowing it to easily slip between the gums and teeth. You also won't hear or feel the scraping of the hand scaler, which can be irritating for some.
Although microsonic scaling isn't painful, some patients may experience minor tooth sensitivity during the procedure. While most microsonic dental cleanings don't require dental local anesthesia, it is an option for extremely sensitive patients or those who require repeat treatments. A topical gel or the DentiPatch® can also temporarily numb your gums without the use of needles. If dental cleanings cause you dental anxiety, your dentist may also recommend a light form of sedation dentistry, such as nitrous oxide during your cleaning.
Microsonic dental cleanings are now becoming a standard practice among the nation's dental offices. If you're interested in a convenient, comfortable experience at your next dental visit, ask your dentist about microsonic scaling.