Treatment of subgingival implant surfaces with Teflon-coated sonic and ultrasonic scaler tips and various implant curettes. An in vitro study

Clin Oral Implants Res. 1994 Mar;5(1):19-29. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0501.1994.050103.x.


Removal of plaque and calculus by means of sonic and ultrasonic scalers causes considerable damage to implants. With a view to avoiding the aggressive effects of these instruments, an experimental study was carried out for which conventional sonic and ultrasonic scalers were coated with Teflon. The effects of these instruments on implant surfaces was then compared with that of plastic and metal implant curettes. Stereo-microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and surface profilometry were used to detect and record damage to implant surfaces and changes in surface roughness. Generation and propagation of heat in subgingival simulation of use of sonic and ultrasonic scalers were also recorded by means of temperature measurements at the implant surface. The results revealed that no discernible damage was caused by Teflon-coated sonic and ultrasonic scalers or implant curettes made of plastic on smooth titanium surfaces. Instrument material residues were found on rough implant surfaces. It was not the intention of this study to provide an analysis of the prerequisites for the cleaning of rough implant surfaces, but rather to determine what type of damage is to be expected when contact is made with smooth and rough surfaces unintentionally. Temperature measurements during the subgingival use of sonic and ultrasonic scalers indicated satisfactory functioning of the cooling system. Coating of sonic and ultrasonic scaler tips with Teflon thus facilitates the use of high-frequency instruments to achieve professional cleaning of implants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Dental Implants*
  • Dental Scaling / instrumentation
  • Dental Scaling / methods*
  • Durapatite
  • Humans
  • Metals
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Plastics
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene*
  • Sonication
  • Surface Properties
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / methods


  • Dental Implants
  • Metals
  • Plastics
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene
  • Durapatite