Seeing a dentist can be nerve-wracking for many people, but the good news is that the science of dentistry is always improving and evolving. For some people, just the idea of having one's teeth scraped or a metal tool being used to get the build-up out from under the gumline is enough to make their skin crawl. Thankfully, these techniques are becoming less common due to new tools. If you've avoided seeing the dentist for years out of fear of the scraping and picking, read on to learn how you could end up avoiding it during your next visit.
How it Used To Be
Although it may seem primitive, the best way in the past to remove built-up tartar was to scrape it off with a metal pick. Unfortunately, tartar is stubborn and thick if left to build for a long period of time. As a result, a great deal of picking and scraping was often necessary, and the pick could even stick in areas, requiring a great deal of tugging. Depending on the person, this could be seen as unpleasant or downright miserable.
Dentistry now makes use of ultrasonic tools that make the majority of scraping unnecessary. Ultrasonic waves are capable of breaking up tartar, plaque, and other debris stuck between teeth without an ounce of scraping. These ultrasonic waves are essentially powerful sound waves that are above the level of hearing for human beings. While they don't pose any danger to healthy tissues, they can be used to break up unwanted tartar, even beneath the gumline.
What To Expect
If you visited a dentist today that uses ultrasonic tools, you might not even notice that one was being used. Typically, dentists use an ultrasonic tool that's paired with a rinsing tool that uses a light jet of water to spray over your teeth and gums. This is so as the ultrasonic waves hit the debris, it can simultaneously be flushed out and away with the water.
In some cases, a pick tool may still be used to loosen stubborn tartar. However, the ultrasonic tool does most of the work, so any scraping that needs to be done will be greatly minimized as a result.
Dental care has come a long way in a short period of time, including minimizing the use of dental picks. If the sound and feel of having your teeth and gums scraped used to scare you away from seeing a dentist, contact one to find out if they use an ultrasonic tool. Getting back into the habit of visiting a dentist regularly will protect your teeth and gums.
Contact a dental office like Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for more information and assistance.