Dental scalers are common dental tools used to remove plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth. Plaque and tartar are two common dental issues that lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Dental scalers are an essential tool in the arsenal of a dental office and play an important role in maintaining good oral health.
What are dental scalers?
The dental scaler is a long, thin, handheld instrument that is typically made of stainless steel. It has a pointed tip that is used to remove the hardened buildup of plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth. The tip of the scaler is designed to fit into the tight spaces between the teeth and the gum line, where plaque and tartar tend to accumulate.
Type of Dental Scalers
There are two main types of dental scalers: hand scalers and ultrasonic scalers. Hand scalers are the most common type and are used by many dental professionals. Ultrasonic scalers, on the other hand, use high-frequency sound waves to break down and remove plaque and tartar.
Hand scalers are designed to be used in a very specific way. The tip of the scaler is held at a 45-degree angle to the surface of the tooth, and the scaler is moved in a back-and-forth motion to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar. It is important to use the scaler gently and to avoid applying too much pressure to the tooth, as this can damage the enamel and cause pain and sensitivity.
Ultrasonic scalers work differently than hand scalers. They use high-frequency sound waves to create vibrations that break down and remove plaque and tartar. Ultrasonic scalers are generally preferred over hand scalers because they are more efficient and can remove plaque and tartar much more quickly than the traditional hand scaler.
Advantages of Dental Scalers
One of the advantages of using a dental scaler is that it can help prevent gum disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar around the gum line. When left untreated, this can lead to inflammation, infection of the gums, and eventually tooth loss. By removing the plaque and tartar build up from the teeth and gums, dental scalers help prevent gum disease and maintain good oral health.
Another advantage of using a dental scaler is that it helps prevent cavities. Plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth can lead to the development of cavities. Using a dental scaler to remove this buildup will help prevent cavities from forming and maintain good oral health.
Dental scalers are also important for maintaining overall health. Poor oral health has been linked to a number of health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. By maintaining good oral hygiene, patients can reduce their risk of developing these diseases and prevent other health problems.
Who should use a dental scaler?
While dental scalers are important to maintaining good oral health, they should only be used by trained dental professionals. Improper use of a dental scaler can cause damage to the teeth and gums, including chipping of the enamel, gum recession, and even tooth loss. It is important to visit a dentist or dental hygienist regularly to ensure that any plaque and tartar buildup is removed safely and effectively.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene
In addition to regular dental cleanings, there are a number of things patients can do to maintain good oral health. Brushing and flossing regularly are essential, as is maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding tobacco use. Patients should also visit a dentist or dental hygienist regularly to ensure that any oral health issues are identified and treated early. The American Dental Association’s (ADA) recommendation is at least 2 times per year, or every 6 months.