High speed imaging of cavitation around dental ultrasonic scaling tips

Nina Vyas, Emilia Pecheva, Hamid Dehghani, Rachel Sammons, Qian Wang, David Leppinen, Anthony Walmsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
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Cavitation occurs around dental ultrasonic scalers, which are used clinically for removing dental biofilm and calculus. However it is not known if this contributes to the cleaning process. Characterisation of the cavitation around ultrasonic scalers will assist in assessing its contribution and in developing new clinical devices for removing biofilm with cavitation. The aim is to use high speed camera imaging to quantify cavitation patterns around an ultrasonic scaler. A Satelec ultrasonic scaler operating at 29 kHz with three different shaped tips has been studied at medium and high operating power using high speed imaging at 15,000, 90,000 and 250,000 frames per second. The tip displacement has been recorded using scanning laser vibrometry. Cavitation occurs at the free end of the tip and increases with power while the area and width of the cavitation cloud varies for different shaped tips. The cavitation starts at the antinodes, with little or no cavitation at the node. High speed image sequences combined with scanning laser vibrometry show individual microbubbles imploding and bubble clouds lifting and moving away from the ultrasonic scaler tip, with larger tip displacement causing more cavitation.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0149804
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2016


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