Importance of patient’s position during oral prophylaxis: A simulated study in phantom head.

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Pirasut Rodanant
Poontip Patarakulwiwat


Objective: To study the relationship between amount and direction of water spraying from ultrasonic scaler tip and the position of phantom head while performing upper anterior teeth cleaning.

Materials and methods: Three black-dyed papers were placed around phantom head holding a velmix-cast securing plastic upper anterior teeth. Two types of ultrasonic scalers, magnetostrictive and piezoelectric, were activated on the upper anterior teeth in the phantom head which was adjusted at different angulations to the horizontal plane. Statistical difference was calculated to compare between the amount of water spreading from two scaler types and between the amounts of water spreading from ultrasonic scaler among different phantom head angulations.  The direction of water spreading was explained by descriptive statistics using mean.

Results: The highest amount of water spreading from both scalers was measured at twelve o’ clock in every phantom head angulation except at 0º using Piezoelectric. The highest amount of water spreading was recorded when the phantom head was tilted by -10o from the horizontal plane and was significantly different from 0o and -20o (p <.05). The magnetostrictive scalers produced significantly more water spreading than the piezoelectric scalers in every position of the phantom head. There was a statistically significant difference between the amount of spreading water produced by the magnetostrictive scalers and piezoelectric scalers (p <.05) when the phantom head is positioned parallel to the floor (0o).

Conclusion: Angulation of the phantom head to the horizontal plane has an effect on the direction of water spreading around the phantom head. Piezoelectric scaler did produce less amount of water spreading than magnetostrictive one.


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Rodanant P, Patarakulwiwat P. Importance of patient’s position during oral prophylaxis: A simulated study in phantom head. M Dent J [Internet]. 2018 Jan. 8 [cited 2023 Dec. 5];38(1):39-44. Available from:
Original articles


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