Chairside Impact: Dentsply Sirona Cavitron Ultrasonic Scaler

I recently discovered that a Cavitron ultrasonic scaler can remove 50% more active biofilm than manual scalers alone, and I had to learn more. I wasted no time reaching out to Laura, my local Dentsply Sirona representative, to get the inside scoop. Laura sent me a study from the University of Glasgow comparing biofilm removal techniques in vitro.

We all know that biofilm is the main culprit, no matter how healthy our patients are, but this study got me wondering if I should use my Cavitron Ultrasonic Scaler more consistently? Maybe even on my healthiest patients, the ones with little or no buildup that I like to see in my schedule? Sure enough, Laura explained the benefits of using a Cavitron Thinsert on these patients, including the ability to use it for tartar detection, the same way I use my ODU 11/12 Explorer.

More “Armchair Impact”:

Now I have a better understanding of all the different Cavitron insert designs and the types of deposits they remove. I tied this to how I use my manual scalers, as they all have a specific purpose too, and suddenly using more than one tip made sense. I love using my Thinsert on these healthier patients or for light deposit prophylaxis, and I know if I see heavy calculus I should use my Powerline 1000. But when patients show furcations, rotating teeth and , shall we say, “interesting” anatomy, I know I need left and right Slimline inserts ready to use in my arsenal. Laura also helped me realize that since no two patients present the same, having insert options is a game-changer.

Feeling more confident, it was time to get to work. Initially, I was concerned that using multiple inserts on the same patient would take too long. But I soon realized it was no different than spending time trading for another hand instrument. Laura gave me a useful insert wear indicator card to easily measure my inserts. I keep mine taped to the inside of my cabinet door and regularly check my inserts for wear. I learned that using a worn tip could make me work harder by increasing the pressure and extending the duration of my treatment. Luckily, my office is excellent at keeping us stocked – there always seems to be a good insert promotion.

I have always used a combination of ultrasonic scaling and manual scaling in my prophylaxis appointments. Sometimes it may seem like you don’t need to use ultrasonic scaling on healthy patients, that manual scalers are more effective. However, now that I am more knowledgeable about how a Cavitron ultrasonic scaler removes more active biofilm than manual scaling, I use my Cavitron ultrasonic scaler on everyone. It gives me peace of mind to provide my patients with excellent, efficient care. and effective.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the March 2022 print edition of HDR magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a free print subscription. Register here.

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