An ultra-sonic scaler in combination with hand scaling is more effective than handscaling alone. The ultra-sonic does three things:
- The vibration of the tip of the instrument against the tooth dislodges any hard calculus adhering to the tooth structure.
- The water flow flushes away any debris and irrigates and clears any bleeding so the clinician can see better and the mouth doesn't taste so bad.
- The motion of the tip of the instrument in the flow of water produces bubbles that cavitate (implode) and when they do this they break up the cell walls of bacteria - you get some bug zapping happening.
Gum diseases are caused by biofilms (plaque) and the ultrasonic disrupts biofilm better than handscaling alone.