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Do you have any advice or tips on how to scale and use an ultrasonic?

I am a second year hygiene student and I am finally starting to work on scrp patients. However I am having a very hard time scaling and using the ultrasonic, do you have any advice or tips? I am having such a hard time that I can’t finish a quad in one 2 hour appointment. Thanks in advance!



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9 Answers

This sounds like an adaptation of the instrument issue and honestly would be best to sit with one of your instructors to watch what you are doing and have them give you feedback. Unless somebody can visually see what you are doing not quite right, it’s really hard to give accurate advice or tips on how to improve.

 

On another note, try not to get discouraged while you are in school. The reason we go to school to be hygienists is because it is a skill that takes time to learn. It can be stressful and overwhelming at times, but stick with it. Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers ANY question you might have. My philosophy is that if one person has a question, there are almost always others who have the same question but are too shy or afraid to ask. I wish you the best of luck with your remaining time in school!

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I am a second year student as well. I know how hard and frustrating it can be sitting and spinning your wheels. My first SRP patient took me 3.5 hours to get a quad done so don’t feel so bad. I think it will come with time and experience. Ask your teachers for feedback and use them as resource because they are there for you.I found that moving around to different positions like 7-10 and 12-1 O Clock works better for certain areas. Find a system to scaling. I ultra sonic the entire quad first keeping the tip adapted. Try the slim line left and right tips. They work really nice in deep pockets. I start instrumentation using a universal like a 4R/4L and work through the posterior sextant.If you are finding big deposit go a head a pick up the ultra sonic. If you have files don’t be afraid to use them. They are awesome for breaking up big pieces and that tenacious calculus. They are a life savior!! I will follow using the Gracy’s 13/14 or 17/18 for 3rd molars then 11/12 or the 15/16 which is my favorite. I will go through with a posterior sickle and fine scale what I missed. You can use it as a explorer as well. I use to waist so much time picking up my explorer to feel each tooth. For the anterior I use the 1/2 then anterior sickle. Sometimes I break out the mini Gracy’s to fit into the tight pockets or to get under the CEJ. I hope this helps.

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I agree with the above…I graduate next month and am currently waiting for board results. My first SRP took me 8 visits to complete treatment. That equals two clinics per quad (each clinic was 2 1/2 hours). Now at the end of the program, scaling a quad can be done within 1 1/2 hours (time allowed for boards). With practice and experience we get better at adapting our instruments and finding which instruments we like to use where.

Do not stress over how long it takes you at this point…more importantly is assuring that you are efficient and effective removing the calculus. Your skills will improve!

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I agree with the answers above. Don’t get discouraged….it will get better with time! We all take alot of time while in school….but with more experience we get better! I usually start with a regular ultrasonic scaling tip. Go thru the whole quad. Then I go over the quad with a slimline tip! Then I hand scale using graceys! You just have to get into a routine. I always start with the facial of the anterior then work my way to the last molar! Then start lingual of the molars and work to the anteriors!

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It takes time to feel confident in SRP! I have been out of school 3 years and know I don’t have it mastered yet! Every patient is a unique experience. Can they open, are they high fears, how tenacious are the deposits, and so on! I start each patient’s therapy letting them know what I’m going to do, and that once I get going and have a feel for their situation, I’ll let them know if I think anything will need to be done differently.

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The ultrasonic is my BFF when it comes to SRP 🙂 It did take a little time getting used to in school, especially when I had never had one used on me before. It’s a lot to handle- the vibrating, the water, the suction, but once you can manage that the ultrasonic will be a great tool. Remember to get your mirror wet with water before you start with your ultrasonic so you can see. I like to use my Graceys when I’m done with the ultrasonic. I tend to start with the posterior and work my way to the anterior first on the buccal and then the lingual with each quad. Sometimes part of my problem in school was that I could see all this calculus and didn’t even know where to begin! Or I’d want to just get rid of all the pieces I could see in no particular order. Once I had a routine down it was much easier to focus and handle each quad. Like mentioned above, if you feel like you maybe aren’t getting enough calculus off or can’t reach it, ask an instructor! I learned so many valuable techniques with my teachers over my shoulders. At school, you are there to learn and your instructors are there to teach, so don’t feel dumb for asking questions.

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One of my classmates was told to stop gripping the cavitron in a death grip bc it messes with the mango stricture technology???? The vibration stuff lol!?

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Because you are asking the question and are concerned, you will become accomplished at it. You will find your rhythm and become competent. I remember the day I finally KNEW with out a doubt that I was there, I figured it out. It was my 6th year of practicing, I am not saying I wasn’t effective previously it is when I saw the results of the years before. Years I wasn’t sure…did I get it all? You are making a difference even if you don’t know if you are being perfect.

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Try using left and right cavitron inserts. Check out the Blue Boa and hygoformic saliva ejector works with HVE and your hand is free to hold the mirror. Also it’s easier depending on the cavitron cord…..to drape it over your shoulder.

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