Three-dimensional optical assessment of experimental iatrogenic mechanical damage to canine dental enamel caused by a sonic scaler

https://doi.org/10.17221/7573-VETMEDCitation:Janalik P., Fichtel T., Sperka P., Omasta M., Rauser P. (2014): Three-dimensional optical assessment of experimental iatrogenic mechanical damage to canine dental enamel caused by a sonic scaler. Veterinarni Medicina, 59: 293-298.
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Removal of dental calculus deposits is one of the basic parts of professional dental cleaning. Despite the popularity of power-driven scalers, several risks are associated with their use, mechanical damage of the enamel surface being one of the most important. The present study evaluated enamel damage caused by a sonic scaler in different work patterns to quantify the damage and allow a clear comparison. Seventy-five canine teeth were carefully extracted from twenty-three dogs. The scaler was used on a clean surface with several combinations of time (five to twenty seconds) and parts of the scaler (point vs. side of the tip). Subsequently, damaged surface topography was mapped using three-dimensional optical microscopy. The results revealed a high variance in defect depth which was influenced by both factors. Statistical assessment confirmed highly significant (P < 0.001) or at least significant (P < 0.05) differences in data acquired for each group. As expected, the shallowest defects were produced by the scaler side in the shortest experimental period (five seconds). Point use proved to be quite damaging, as it resulted in approximately four times higher median values than the side in the same timeframe. Therefore, it is crucial to follow all safety precautions when handling a power-driven scaler even during routine treatments. Use of the side of the tip and constant movement on the tooth surface are essential to reduce the risk of enamel damage.  
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