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The Tipping Point: Key to selecting the correct scaler tip

The design and quality of the ultrasonic scaler tip are among several variables that directly influence how ultrasonic instruments ablate and disrupt deposits.

The dental scaler is an important tool for the modern dentist, as it provides a less traumatic and more effective way to remove plaque and calculus build up

Scaler tips come in a variety of designs to accommodate different clinical applications. Each type of scaler tip has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to select the right one for each individual patient.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of scaler tips available on the market today, and help you choose the right tip for your needs.

Designing tips


The key considerations for choosing the ultrasonic scaler tips that you require include tip shape, dimension and geometry.

Only by understanding these differences can one fully take advantage of the modern power scaler in the clinician’s toolbox.


The shape of a scaler tip refers to the cross-sectional shape of the active area, which can be circular (cylindrical) or rectangular (flat / broad).

Tip shape determines both the amount of cavitation produced and degree of force exerted by the oscillating tip.

For example, due to its edged form and reduced surface area, the rectangular-shaped tip is usually used for scaling heavy calculus, but not recommended for debridement of the root surface. As compared to a cylindrical tip of equal diameter, rectangular-shaped tips produce more cavitation.


The diameter of a scaler tip refers to the thickness of the tip in the active area. They can be further categorised into: Standard diameter, Slim diameter, and Ultraslim diameter. As their names suggest, the categories differ in mass and width, with Ultraslim offering the narrowest in diameter. Standard and Slim offer both rectangular shape tips, while Ultraslim are only available in cylindrical shapes.

In the absence of standardised widths (i.e. measurements in millimetres), the categories are employed rather consistently by most manufacturers, albeit with slight differences.

This dimension influences both the degree of force exerted and the amount of cavitational and streaming forces produced by the oscillating tip.


This refers to the number of planes that the shank of the tip crosses. Geometrically straight tips, which make up the majority of tip designs, extend in only one plane. The curved, semi-spiral tips extend into a second plane.

Key to note - tip geometry mainly affects the clinician’s access to the treatment site.

A straight shank is typically used when the clinician has uncomplicated access to the treatment site. A curved shank is indicated when access to the treatment site is complex, for example, instrumenting the root surfaces of posterior teeth.

Selecting a scaler tip manufacturer

Since the arrival of Cavitron, the industry’s first stand-alone ultrasonic scaling and air polishing systems by Dentsply Sirona, many brands of ultrasonic instruments like NSK, EMS, Acteon-Satelec and Woodpecker have emerged into the Australian dental market.

That makes it imperative to select a specialist manufacturer like Xpedent that supplies a wide range of scaler tips that are compatible with the most popular ultrasonic scalers currently in the market, including specialised tips for cleaning implants.


As a highly regarded professional scaler tip manufacturer, Xpedent produces a cost-effective range of scaler tips for many of the world’s leading distributors and scaler machine manufacturers.

Xpedent Scaler Tips are manufactured using state-of-the-art 7 axis CNC machines, based on proprietary Japanese technology. To ensure safe and robust function in the dental operatory, each scaler tip undergoes at least 30 additional processes and inspections, following the machining process.

Strong, flexible and corrosion resistant, Xpedent Scaler Tips promise compatibility with most types of powered scalers, including those from the following brands: NSK, EMS, Acteon-Satelec, Kavo, Mectron, Amdent, Dabi and Woodpecker.

With Xpedent, you’re just an ideal tip away from reaping the full benefits of your handpiece.

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