Effect of plastic-covered ultrasonic scalers on titanium implant surfaces

M Mann, D Parmar, Anthony Walmsley, Simon Lea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Maintaining oral health around titanium implants is essential. The formation of a biofilm on the titanium surface will influence the continuing success of the implant. These concerns have led to modified ultrasonic scaler instruments that look to reduce implant damage while maximising the cleaning effect. This study aimed to assess the effect of instrumentation, with traditional and modified ultrasonic scalers, on titanium implant surfaces and to correlate this with the oscillations of the instruments. Materials and methods: Two ultrasonic insert designs (metallic TFI-10 and a plastic-tipped implant insert) were selected. Each scaler probe was scanned using a scanning laser vibrometer, under loaded and unloaded conditions, to determine their oscillation characteristics. Loads were applied against a titanium implant (100g and 200 g) for 10 s. The resulting implant surfaces were then scanned using laser profilometry and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results: Insert probes oscillated with an elliptical motion with the maximum amplitude at the probe tip. Laser profilometry detected defects in the titanium surface only for the metallic scaler insert. Defect widths at 200 g high power were significantly larger than all other load/power conditions (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Oral Implants Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


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