before air polishing teeth in patients with severe respiratory illness or on a restricted sodium diet. Patients wearing contact lenses must remove them before you use this polishing system.
The waterline should be flushed daily before use for 60 seconds to reduce any bacteria that accumulates in the line overnight. The handpiece should be flushed for 30 seconds before use between patients. At the end of the day, remove and empty the powder chamber. The cleaning powder must be kept dry and stored in a place that does not exceed 95°F. For additional information on maintenance of the powder chamber and other procedures, refer to the manufacturer's instructions.
The sonic scaler consists of the scaler handpiece and three types of tips (fig. 3-17). Both the tips and handpiece can be sterilized. The handpiece attaches to the hoses on the dental unit with a swivel attachment coupling. Air and water pressure are controlled by using the air and water control valves on the dental unit. The three type tips and their uses are as follows:
Universal tip - Used for all surfaces to remove medium and heavy calculus deposits
Figure 3-17. - Sonic scaler handpiece and tips. Left to right: Universal, Perio, and Sickle tip.
Perio tip - Breaks up heavy calculus and is recommended for supragingival scaling of the lingual mandibular incisors
Sickle tip - Recommended for sensitive patients, and to remove light to medium deposits of calculus
Lightly apply the vibrating tip to the tooth's surface using a back and forth brush stroke to dislodge the calculus deposits. The handpiece directs a continuous water spray to cool the tip and tooth to prevent overheating. Avoid placing the scaler tip directly on the enamel since this will cause pitting.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for instrument sterilization and other maintenance requirements. As with other devices supplied with water from the dental unit, flush the sonic scaler waterline for 60 seconds at the beginning of the workday and for 30 seconds between patients.
Periodontal hand scalers are important in removing calculus. These instruments are discussed in chapter 6, "Periodontal Assistance." In addition to hand scaling instruments, part of your preventive dentistry setup will include a mouth mirror and an explorer.
The mouth mirror permits examination of tooth surfaces in areas of the mouth that cannot be viewed directly. The mouth mirror is also useful as a retractor of the patient's tongue and cheeks.
Avoid causing discomfort to the patient when you are using the mouth mirror. Do not use excessive pressure on the handle or shank against the patient's lips or the comer of the mouth. Do not press the edge of the mirror into the gingiva. Since some teeth are sensitive to metal, do not touch the teeth with the mirror when you are inserting it into or removing it from the mouth. 3-9
You can prevent fogging of the mirror by:
Requesting the patient breathe through the nose, rather than the mouth