The Academy of General Dentistry reports that there has been an increase in patients seeking dental treatment as a result of misusing dental instruments. The increase attributed to oral hygiene manufacturers. In recent years these manufacturers have begun to market over-the-counter dental tools to consumers who are not properly trained in their use.
The Academy’s spokesperson, Heidi Hausauer, DDS, reports that she frequently sees instruments that mimic a scaler – a tool used by dental hygienists and dentists to remove tartar and other deposits from the the surface of teeth – on the shelves of drug stores and advertised in magazines.
“I’ve had people come into the office who have used these over-the-counter dental instruments and chipped their front tooth with them,” Dr. Hausauer says, “I’ve seen patients gouge roots and chip the enamel off lower incisors.”
The misuse of dental instruments can also lead to gum abscesses when tartar is inadvertently pushed under the gumline. Dentists and dental hygienists who are trained in the proper care and use of dental devices and removing tartar, warn patients that attempting to do this themselves at home can do more harm than good. Rather than attempting to teach patients how to properly use of these instruments, many advise their patients that it is safest to avoid using them at home.
“I would rather see the dentist or hygienist remove tartar,” reports Dr. Hausauer. “Regular professional cleaning and dental visits are much healthier than buying something over the counter and picking at your teeth.”
Smile Center Dental is a family owned and operated network of dental offices that was founded by Dr. Shayne Istre. The company was established in 1997 with a commitment to provide the highest quality dental care at an affordable price. Call us today at (512) 452-8200 to schedule an appointment.