Ultrasonic Scaler

Title of Project: Practice Pattern Usage of the Ultrasonic Scaler Amoung Dental Hygiensts

Students Involved: Laura Green, Pamela Page, Stephanie Stadtfield

Faculty Mentor: Frances McConaughy

Program(s): Dental Hygiene

Project Description:

Over the last four decades there have been changes in the theories explaining the progression of a common oral infection known as periodontal disease.  As these theories have changed, likewise so have the therapeutic approaches to treating this disease.  Registered Dental Hygienists typically provide the primary therapies typically provide the primary therapies involved in arresting this infection and maintaining healthy gums.  Two major approaches to providing this therapy are through hand instrumentation or ultrasonic instrumentation.  Some literature reviews suggest there is no difference in the clinical outcome of treatment whether one uses hand instrumentation or ultrasonic instrumentation (AAP, 2000).  Further, hand instruments have been preferable as the ultrasonic was considered supplemental (primarily due to the size of instrument tips) for periodontal therapy through the 1980’s.  However, in the 1990’s significant changes in the theories supporting the progress of periodontal disease occurred and likewise, there were significant changes.