Periodontal instruments Together with Periodontal instruments including periodontal curettes, periodontal scalers are used to remove calculus from teeth.
While curettes are often universal in that they can be used on both supra- and sub-gingival calculus removals, scalers are restricted to supra-gingival use.
Use of a scaler below the gum line is likely to damage the gingiva (gums).
Design & Materials of Periodontal instruments
The composition of hand instruments are continuously evolving, which is why it may be a challenge to find the proper instrument for the right clinical situation. With the broad variation of instrument designs and materials, it allows dental professionals to implement periodontal therapy with reduced strain and increased comfort levels for both the clinician and the patient. The following are some factors to consider with the design of periodontal scalers:
Texture – the texture of the instrument handle increases control, such as finger grip, and reduces hand fatigue.
Weight – the handle’s hollowness allows the instrument to be more lightweight and increases the clinician’s tactile sensitivity.
Design Characteristics of Periodontal instruments
Typically, periodontal scalers have pointed backs, but some new scaler designs have working ends with rounded backs as well. Additionally, they have triangular cross sections; this limits their instrumentation use to above the gingiva (supragingival) to prevent any tissue trauma.Periodontal scalers also have pointed tips and faces perpendicular to the lower shank.
Periodontal instruments Techniques
In addition, there are several characteristics of a calculus removal stroke that are vital to the effectiveness of periodontal instrumentation; these include stabilization, adaptation, angulation, lateral pressure, characteristics, stroke direction, and stroke number.
Angulation is the relationship between the face of the instrument and the tooth surface, ideally 70º-80º when using periodontal scalers.
The stroke directions include vertical, oblique and horizontal strokes, all leading away from the soft tissue to avoid tissue trauma.
Overall, the working-end of the instrument is only moving a few millimeters at a time. Simultaneously, the clinician must roll the handle of the instrument to maintain adaptation throughout, to prevent any soft tissue injury.
Moreover, following these instrumentation principles would improve the quality of life for the clinician as well.