Sat, Sep 07, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Ultrasonic teeth cleaning not for everyone: FDA

By Wu Liang-yi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Ultrasonic teeth cleaning procedures might not be suitable for everyone, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Tuesday, advising people with hemophilia or similar conditions, pacemakers, congenital heart problems, acute bacterial endocarditis, chronic lung disease or those who have had heart valve replacement surgery not to undergo the treatment.

Ultrasonic cleaners operate using an electromagnetic field, which, with its high vibration rate, can swiftly and efficiently remove dental calculus, but could be fatal for people with pacemakers, as the electromagnetic field could interfere with its discharge rate, the FDA said.

The operator is responsible for adjusting the strength of the electromagnetic field, it said.

Ultrasonic cleaning can cause minor injuries to the gums, so people with hemophilia face infection risks, it said.

Bacterial infection of the gums could enter the bloodstream and reach the heart, causing endocarditis, it said.

RESPIRATORY RISK

Residual tartar removed during the debridement process could block the respiratory tract and could prove fatal for those with chronic lung disease, the FDA said.

The agency called on people to inform their dentist if they have any of the conditions so the best teeth-cleaning method would be used.

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