Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of air polishing and different ultrasonic scaler inserts on dental fillings, such as amalgam, composite and porcelain.
Materials and methods: This study was performed on amalgam, composite and porcelain samples. The surfaces of the samples were exposed to different type of piezoelectric ultrasonic scaler inserts and air-abrasive unit. The scaler inserts were Instrument A, Instrument PS and PI. The roughness of the surfaces of each sample were measured with a profilometer and observed by stereomicroscope.
Results: The stereomicroscopic images and profilometric values showed that Instrument A and PS resulted in rough surfaces, such as chips, nicks and scratches on the amalgam, composite and porcelain surfaces. The Instrument PI roughened the amalgam surface, but it did not roughen the porcelain or composite surfaces. The profilometric measurements (Ra) showed that the roughness of the surfaces depending on air polishing was less than the ultrasonically scaled surfaces.
Conclusion: The wrong tip applications during dental scaling procedure cause roughness, such as scratches, nicks or chips, not only on the teeth surfaces but also on the filling materials. Thus, dental scaling procedure on the restorations should be performed carefully and the roughness sites on the restorations have to be re-polished after scaling to prevent plaque accumulation.