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If there’s calculus visible on the rads should I be seeing the chunks of calculus come off?

I usually do a full mouth debridement with my piezo first and I’m wondering if that’s why I’m not seeing big prices? I’m Afraid I’m missing it entirely but I feel like I’m going as sub as I can with the explorer and it feels smooth..

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1 Answer

I reached out to a fellow hygienist, Andrew Johnston, because I wasn’t sure how to answer this in a concise manner. Andrew said, “No, not necessarily will you see the chunks come flying off because you see radiographic calculus. X-rays are a 2D image and don’t give you depth. What you see radiographically could be a chunk that is less than half a millimeter wide from buccal to lingual and could just be a very dense, small piece thereby showing up on the radiographs. When I do a debridement with an ultrasonic and I’m feeling like I am engaging with those calculus pieces I don’t see them very often sucked up into the suction. My ultrasonic generally takes them off in smaller pieces. It won’t be like when you are removing calculus from a lower anterior bridge of calculus. Maybe use your explorer first to detect calculus then use the Piezo and explore after and see if there is a difference because maybe you are going too subgingival if the calculus is maybe closer to the coronal portion of the tooth.

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