Does the ADA recommend ultrasonic tips for implants?

Dec. 21, 2006
Ann-Marie DePalma addresses a question about implant maintenance.

Dear RDH eVillage: The article was about ultrasonic tips designed for implants. My question is, does the ADA recommend these? If so, which suppliers carry them?

There are a number of controversies in implant dentistry — whether to use metal or plastic instruments, to probe or not to probe — so there is no one answer to the question. In addition, the amount and tenacity of calculus that forms on implants is much less than on natural dentition. Therefore, unless the implant has been scratched or builds up a lot of deposit, I find it unnecessary to use ultrasonics on implants. However, I tend to err on the side of caution, and as far as I know there is no statement by the ADA on the use of ultrasonic tips for implants. With that said, there are several products on the market for use on implants with ultrasonics. The Tony Riso Company has a plastic sheath for use over conventional ultrasonic tips. Several other companies have specific products for implant use: Satelec/Acteon (piezo scaler); Dentsply (Quixonic piezo scaler); EMS (piezo scaler); and Dentatus (Profin interproximal polisher).

I hope that answers your question. Please contact me if you need more info.

Ann-Marie DePalma, RDH, BS, FAADH