Ultrasonics Helping High-Tech Practice Improve Patient Hygiene, Reduce Stress
Rand T. Mattson, DDS, and Diane Bosgieter, RDH, have practiced in a small community in Utah for the past 30 years. From the beginning, they've been big proponents of using the latest technology in their dental office. "We were early adopters when it came to computerizing, going paperless, and implementing the use of ultrasonic instrumentation and air polishing on every patient unless contraindicated," they explain. Leveraging new, cutting-edge technology enables the pair to treat patients quickly and effectively with less staff and reduced stress.
Mattson and Bosgieter consider hygiene and prevention "equal partners" with restorative dentistry in their practice, and they are strong advocates for the use of ultrasonic instrumentation. They find it to be faster than other modalities used in the prophy appointment, kinder and less damaging to tooth structure and tissue than traditional techniques, more efficient at disrupting and removing planktonic and sessile biofilm, and easier and more comfortable for the hygienist.
"Ultrasonics allows us to take a quantum leap forward in the quality of the healthcare we deliver to our patients, and we see increased patient acceptance in terms of the concept of total oral health," Mattson claims. "Using ultrasonics is the cornerstone of our disease prevention/biofilm management program."
Dentsply Sirona's Cavitron® ultrasonic scaling units are Mattson and Bosgieter's preferred tools for the job, they say, specifically the Cavitron Touch® ultrasonic scaling system. Featuring the Steri-Mate® 360 full rotating handpiece, this device utilizes digital touchscreen technology to provide a user-friendly interface, and the wireless Tap-On™ Technology foot pedal is designed to reduce leg and ankle discomfort.
"One quick glance at the touchscreen tells you everything you need to know about the ultrasonic device in your hand. The power level and water flow are easily visible and can be modified with a finger touch to the screen. The screen itself is flat glass, which lends itself to superior infection control," Mattson details.
Another benefit of Cavitron Touch, Mattson says, is that in addition to a full insert selection, the left and right inserts allow "extreme adaptation" to virtually every tooth surface in the mouth. Therefore, he explains, areas that are difficult to access such as upper first molar furcations and upper first bicuspid mesial root furcations, as well as every other tooth and root surface, become readily treatable.
Bosgieter notes that the handpiece is feather light and swivels on its cord and that the cord itself is extremely flexible and a fraction of the size and weight of prior cords. "The handpiece is almost effortless in its handling," she says, "but powerful enough to remove the toughest plaque, stain, and calculus. Yet it is delicate enough for the most friable tissue in the most sensitive patients."
The dental partners liken the Cavitron Touch to a smart phone, a high-tech piece of equipment that provides faster, better communication and "does tons of things." The state-of-the-art ultrasonic scaling system is designed to allow the hygienist to deliver ultrasonic biofilm management with minimal stress.
To assist practitioners in integrating the Cavitron Touch into their practice, Dentsply Sirona provides a range of online resources, professional seminars, educational opportunities, and hygiene programs, as well as instruction readily available from local representatives. Mattson and Bosgieter believe that incorporating ultrasonic instrumentation into the routine hygiene appointment has fundamentally changed their practice.
"The use of ultrasonics has improved patient oral health and total body health, and has increased patient buy-in to maintain their oral health. It reduces physical strain on the hygienist and overall stress in the hygiene department. The number of difficult prophy procedures has decreased. Patients are more willing to visit us when prophy appointments are a more pleasant experience and when they see that their gums and teeth will be healthy. The vitality of a hygiene practice may be determined by incorporation of ultrasonic instrumentation," they conclude.
1301 Smile Way
York, PA 17404