Removal of calculus with ultrasonic toothbrush – A pilot study

Last changed: 23 May 2023
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Lina Dolfei and Molly Lavesson, Veterinary Nursing programme (BSc)


An alternative to the traditional toothbrush is the ultrasonic toothbrush which uses ultrasound to remove plaque and bacteria. With everyday use, ultrasonic toothbrushes can maintain good oral health and prevent periodontal diseases. The manufacturers claim that the ultrasonic toothbrush can reduce and remove calculus if used regularly but also that the same result can be seen after an intensive care treatment. The aim of the study was to examine the ultrasonic toothbrush effect on removal of calculus during one treatment on one tooth, and to examine how long time it took to see a possible visual difference in the amount of calculus. The tooth was mechanically scraped three times with the fingernails of the examining student every other minute during the use of the ultrasonic toothbrush. Donated dogs (n=5) were used in the study where the maxillary canine tooth (104,204) and the last premolar tooth (108, 208) on the same side of the jaw (n=10) was treated for 40 minutes. A special toothpaste created by the manufacturers was used during the study for the most accurate result possible. The result showed a possible trend where 7 of 10 teeth showed a visual difference in the amount of calculus after approximately half of the treatment time. All calculus was removed in connection to manual scraping. The result may indicate that the ultrasonic toothbrush may have weakened the calculus for easier mechanical removal. The result of the study indicates that the ultrasonic toothbrush can not remove already existing calculus without mechanical help.


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