Background: While hand and ultrasonic scalers are the primary tools used for the removal of dental calculus in periodontal treatment, many studies have shown that they also damage the enamel surface. We have developed a novel actuator-driven pulsed water jet (ADPJ) system, which has the ability to selectively remove materials depending on their stiffness. Considering the different material properties between teeth and dental calculus, it might be possible to develop the ADPJ to remove dental calculus without damage to the tooth's enamel surface using a suitable jet pressure. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the ADPJ in removing dental calculus, and the surface features of the teeth after its use. Methods: A total of 93 artificial teeth coated with artificial dental calculus were examined in this study. The weights of 90 teeth were measured before and after the use of ADPJ, which had an applied voltage setting of 150, 200, or 240 V. The three remaining teeth were instrumented with a conventional hand scaler, ultrasonic scaler, or ADPJ (set at 240 V). Damage to the artificial tooth surfaces was evaluated using 5% Evans blue dye under an optical microscope. Furthermore, apatite pellets, which are utilized as experimental substitutes for natural teeth, were assessed after the use of ADPJ and both conventional scalers. Results: The ADPJ significantly reduced the amount of artificial calculus, and the removal rate was dependent on the applied voltage. No damage was observed on the surface of the artificial tooth and apatite pellet following the use of ADPJ, in contrast to the conventional scalers. Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate the in vitro effectiveness of ADPJ in the removal of dental calculus, without causing damage to tooth surfaces.
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