OBJECTIVES: The aim of this investigation was to assess the effect of loading on ultrasonic scaler tip displacement amplitude, using a scanning laser vibrometer. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Four generators were selected for this investigation including: Cavitron Select (Dentsply), Cavitron SPS (Dentsply), Piezon Master 400 (EMS) and Mini Piezon (EMS). The insert designs used with these generators included the TFI-10 and TFI-3 (with the Dentsply generators) and P-tip (with the EMS generators). The insert tips were contacted against tooth surfaces with loads of 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 N. The scanning laser vibrometer was then used to scan the vibrating scalers at various generator power settings. RESULTS: The tips generally showed an increase in displacement amplitude with increasing power setting, although this increase was often nonlinear. Displacement amplitudes of like tips were generally found to be significantly different from each other at all loads. For individual inserts, loading caused a significant difference in tip response from the unloaded situation and also between loads. CONCLUSIONS: This investigation has demonstrated that there is a high variability associated with dental ultrasonic scaler inserts. Clinicians and researchers should be aware of this variability as it may affect both clinical procedures and future research.
- ultrasonic generators
- scanning laser vibrometer