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Cavitron setting for SRP?

I usually have my Cavitron setting at about 3 o’clock for an easy SRP. Is this setting too high or low? I’m mindful of my adaption! I ask because my DDS does SRP occasionally and keeps it in the blue zone (10-11 o’clock). I feel at that low of a setting she’s just doing a glorified prophy. My thought is if it’s at a higher setting, it will kill more bacteria. Am I wrong in my assumption?

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A higher setting doesn’t necessarily kill more bacteria; it increases the sound waves which increase the vibration which is what shatters calculus. Low power is more for biofilm removal (where your doctor has the setting); it is not capable of removing calculus. In fact it will only burnish it. This burnished calculus can harbor pathogenic bacteria which totally defeats the purpose of scaling in the first place! As we all know, this burnished calculus is hard to detect and remove, so your doctor might just be making your job harder. Medium to high power (which is where you set it), is when calculus is shattered. During SRP, depending on how tenacious the calculus is, I keep the setting at around 2 o’clock, that’s just me though! Here is a really good article that explains the debate over ultrasonics and killing bacteria: http://www.dimensionsofdentalhygiene.com/2012/04_April/Features/Biofilm_Removal_Is_The_Key.aspx

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