TurboVUE Lighted Handpiece Ultrasonic Scaler Takes Aim at Inflammatory Pathogens
Betsy Reynolds, RDH, MS, who is a dental hygienist and oral biologist in Idaho, presents scientifically based dental and dental hygiene continuing education programs nationally and internationally.
She recalls when Paul M Ridker, MD, connected heightened C-reactive protein and inflammation in 2005 as a landmark, and says, “In my opinion, the biggest trend that has been taking place in the last 10 years has been recognizing that inflammation—no matter where it is in the body—has a negative impact on overall health,” she says, adding, “This finding put the whole dental industry—especially dental hygiene—on its ear in terms of what we believed.” Since then, she says, “It’s been exciting for dental hygienists to see how treating inflammation in the practice setting and integrating anti-inflammatory techniques for homecare helps patients maintain not just better oral health but better overall health,” which, she says, has become the focus of her continuing education programs.
Reynolds also says a better understanding of biofilm and plaque is driving different approaches to hygiene, approaches that focus less on eliminating all “bugs”—some of which have a positive impact on the oral environment—than the plaque that is destructive, in order to maintain a healthy environment. “There is now a recognition that some bugs are good and should be left alone or encouraged,” she claims.
Reynolds says ultrasonic scaling has become an integral component of routine dental hygiene care, but is unlikely to ever replace hand instrumentation entirely. “While some hand scaling is still used in the vast majority of cases, ultrasonic not only more gently severs the bond between plaque and tooth surface, it also removes hard deposits, staining, and loose debris, while providing lavage and acoustic streaming.”
She says the addition of light, such as is now provided with Parkell’s TurboVue™ Illuminated Magnetostrictive Ultrasonic Scaler, is a welcome improvement. This uniquely engineered device does in fact provide excellent visibility when scaling all areas of the oral cavity, she says. “The TurboVue features a light source built into the handpiece, allowing a significant amount of light to emit through the 30K light-transmitting ultrasonic inserts,” she explains. The TurboVue also features auto-tuning technology, a dramatically expanded low-power range that improves comfort during debridement, and has a power-boosting turbo feature for an increase in scaling power when needed.
Reynolds says she is “a huge fan of the Parkell inserts,” which she considers to be sturdy and long lasting as well as well functioning. Among the Parkell inserts is the Burnett, which she states is well known among hygienists and periodontists for its ability to remove tenacious deposits, as well as to effectively run at the lowest to the highest power setting on the scaler.
In addition to the Burnett Power-Tip V, the 30K light-transmitting inserts that emit light from the handpiece include the Universal Tip V and the Straight Perio Tip V; all feature a durable, autoclavable glass sleeve to transmit the light from the handpiece to the operating field. The GentleClean Cushion-Grip insert, which is not part of the TurboVue Light Transmitting Inserts, says Reynolds, is a unique insert specifically designed to be used around implants and ortho brackets. “This insert really allows pain-free scaling. It removes biofilm plaque and soft calculus from metal and teeth, and it won’t scratch or damage restoration margins. It is especially useful for treating children and hypersensitive patients. In addition, it has a soft grip that makes it comfortable for the operator to use.”
As Reynolds sees it, ultrasonic technology—including toothbrushes—is very much in step with the trend toward understanding that oral and general health are one and the same, and that what benefits one benefits the other. “Once we can control the micronome better and control health, office time can be spent more on inflammation control, not just deposit removal, filling, and drilling,” she concludes.
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