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Best way to adapt to using the ultrasonic scaler

I’m just finishing up first year and have only used my ultrasonic scaler once and that was on orientation day. Currently our instructors have us using it with cotton rolls, saliva ejector, and the HVE. I feel very awkward bc of all the pieces of equipment I’m trying to juggle and bc of my lack of expire once and fear of hurting the patient in some way. Any tips on mastering this instrument?



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4 Answers

When I first became a hygienist and while in school, I was very nervous about using the cavitron and avoided it. I hated getting the patients soaking wet. However, it does become easier with time and soon it becomes an indispensable, time-saving tool. I just use it with the slow speed suction and keep the water on low. I put the suction in the right hand corner of the patient’s mouth and ask them to turn slightly toward me so that the water runs to the suction. Keep a very light grip on the instrument and remember that you can adapt any part of it to the tooth but the tip. Don’t use it on areas of recession. To keep practicing with it is the best advice I can give you. You’ll find what works for you!

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In my experience, using the HVE only works well if you have an assistant. I hold the slow suction and use it for retraction too. Youtube has some great how to’s that may be worth checking out. The more you use it the more comfortable you will become! I also agree with Sally316, especially about steering clear of recession if you can. Be aware that many patients, in my experience, don’t tolerate the ultrasonic as their actual teeth (not gingiva due to infection) are just too sensitive. I fall into this category due to my severe clinching issues. My point is, make sure you are always checking in with your patients to see if they are okay. Don’t hesitate to work with your instructors to work on adaptation; you are in a unique situation where they are at your disposal to make you the best you can be!

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The blue boa works through the HVE and the hygoformic salva ejector turning the Alva ejector into an HVE hands free. I have found that using the dentsply brand cavitron is better with controlling water spray. The water still drips out the hand piece when pedal is off, but just make sure to drip it on the bib while pts are semi-closing around the suction. Keep the dial below 9 am and off recession. Take the time to figure out how to re-bend the hygoformic saliva ejector to work for you. When you retract the tongue with mirror push pedal and start water flow of cavitron before getting close to the mirror as this will keep the mirror clear from the initial water spray and makes you not see through the mirror. I also use butler gum mirror defogger and keep a very wet gauze of it and rub the mirror every so often.

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Thank you ladies for the advice and tips! Hygenius-our clinic has one boa and one of my classmates tried it on me when she was cleaning my teeth and said it was a life saver. I will definitely check out the youtube videos Kara RDH and see what other ways I can make this instrument work to my advantage. I had one patient I tried it on but they did not like it because there were alot of accessories in their mouth and felt it was just too much to handle. I will be getting much feedback and help from my instructors as well. Thank you so much again:)

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