The working ends of ultrasonic scaler move with a frequency range that matches that of ultrasound waves (35 kHz–1 GHz).
Here it can be seen how plaque is removed from the lower teeth of a patient using an ultrasonic scaler. The working ends of ultrasonic scaler vibrate, as opposed to the working ends of drills, which rotate. With either movement, both the ultrasonic scaler and the drill generate heat on the tooth surface, which needs to be thoroughly cooled with water in either case. Overheating of the tooth surface leads to tooth nerve damage (pulpitis), which can necessitate root canal treatment. Ultrasonic scalers are mostly used for plaque removal. Discolorations can be removed as well; however, extensive discolorations are not removed with ultrasonic scaler because these devices cause unnecessary loss of tooth substance – an alternative is teeth bleaching.
In the Video Ultrasonic Scaler is a magnified view of the enamel surface. Tea, coffee, and nicotine have led to discolorations. On the left, the discolorations are removed using a bleaching gel. On the right, they are removed using an ultrasonic cleaner. The loss of tooth substance can be clearly observed on the right. In both cases, the tooth is white again, but the ultrasonic scaler caused unnecessary loss of tooth substance. This is why these devices are used very carefully in dental prophylaxis and for other dental purposes.Ultrasonic Scaler