Starting with a very clean tooth is a vital step when placing dental sealants. Any stain, plaque, etc. left behind will compromise the bonding of the sealant material to the enamel surface. Below are 4 cleaning methods I’ve personally used over the years that work well, but nothing beats the micro etcher in my opinion.
Start with a sickle scaler
No matter which of the following methods I use, I always start with a thin sickle scaler to remove any bulk debris from every pit and groove first.
I use standard prophy paste or pumice with this method. It’s important to hit every pit and groove from multiple angles. Use adequate pressure. Use the edge of the prophy angle a lot. This method works pretty well.
I also use standard prophy paste or pumice with this method. This is my least favorite method.
This method works very well. It’s doesn’t matter what type of powder you use (sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, etc.).
This is my favorite method. The powder (aluminum oxide) is more abrasive and cleans extremely well. Personally, I just use the more abrasive powder in a cheap eBay air polisher.
Mark Frias, RDH