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More Technical Information about Dental Air Polishers

Dental root form implants are manufactured from a highgrade titanium alloy, the surface of which consists of  a micro layer of titanium oxide. The implant surface can also be treated by plasma spraying, acid etching, sandblasting or coated with HA. The removal of  plaque  and  calculus  deposits  from  these implant surfaces with Dental Instruments designed originally for cleaning natural tooth surfaces can result in major alterations to the delicate titanium oxide layer. Altering the surface topography by roughening the surface may enhance  calculus  and  bacterial  plaque accumulation.


Dental air polishers typically generate a stream of pressurized air, carrying specially graded particles of a mild soluble abrasive, such as sodium bicarbonate. The abrasive is directed, in the presence of a stream of water, at a tooth surface to be cleaned.


Resulting scratches, cuts or gouges may also reduce the corrosion resistancy of titanium, and corrosion and mechanical debris can accumulate in the surrounding tissue. The aim of procedures for debriding dental implants should be to remove microbial and other soft deposits, without altering the implant surface, and thereby adversely affect biocompatibility. Increased surface roughness can lead to an increase in bacterial accumulation and resultant soft tissue inflammation.


Because of the critical nature of the implant/soft tissue relationship, metal ultrasonic scaler tips, hand scalers or curettes should not be used as they have been shown to significantly alter the titanium surface.


More recent technology produces a slurry by introducing the water stream into the powder-laden air stream, within the spray head at a critical moment, to produce a fully homogeneous stream that is emitted from a single nozzle. This stream technology configuration has not only been shown to prevent nozzle clogging by preventing the buildup of deposits, but also results in a much more efficient cleaning action because the slurry is formed prior to emission.


Air polishers were originally designed to be standalone tabletop units. They have been considered to be the equipment of choice for the hygiene department, sometimes being combined with ultrasonic scaling devices.


There is increasing awareness among clinicians —periodontists, orthodontists, prosthodontists and restorative dentists alike—that having a simple, easily transportable air polisher can reduce the tedium of stain and plaque removal for many procedures. For example:
    Removing plaque in dental fissures prior to cleaning to enhance the retention of fissure sealants
    Cleaning hard-to-reach areas such as when crowding exists or prior to the placement of adhesive restorations
    Cleaning abutments prior to permanent or temporary cementation procedures
    Detoxifying root surfaces to promote healing during periodontal treatment
    Preparing tooth surfaces before bonding of brackets
    Removing debris around orthodontic and oral surgery appliances.


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