Sonic and ultrasonic scalers in periodontal treatment: a review

Int J Dent Hyg. 2007 Feb;5(1):2-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5037.2007.00217.x.


Periodontal therapy aims at arresting periodontal infection and maintaining a healthy periodontium. The periodic mechanical removal of subgingival microbial biofilms is essential for controlling inflammatory periodontal disease. Mechanical periodontal therapy consists of scaling, root planing and gingival curettage. The sonic and ultrasonic scalers are valuable tools in the prevention of periodontal disease. The vibration of scaler tips is the main effect to remove the deposits from the dental surface, such as bacterial plaque, calculus and endotoxin. However, constant flushing activity of the lavage used to cool the tips and cavitational activity result in disruption of the weak and unattached subgingival plaque. The aim of the study was to review the safety, efficacy, role and deleterious side-effects of sonic and ultrasonic scalers in mechanical periodontal therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Deposits / therapy*
  • Dental Scaling / adverse effects
  • Dental Scaling / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Diseases / therapy*
  • Root Planing / instrumentation
  • Safety
  • Subgingival Curettage / instrumentation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / adverse effects
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Vibration / adverse effects
  • Vibration / therapeutic use