The removal of calculus and plaque after having dental implants with an ultrasonic scaler, especially during a deep cleaning (also called a scale and root plane) can cause significant damage to dental implant hardware. However, managing plaque and calculus build up becomes even more important after having dental implant surgery. Periodontal disease (gum disease) can cause implant failure similar to how a natural tooth will become loose after untreated periodontal disease begins to destroy the underlying bone. A 1994 study revealed that when ultrasonic scalers are coated in Teflon, the same damage does not occur to plastic implant curettes or smooth titanium surfaces. On rough implant surfaces, however, instrument material residue was discovered. The study determined that coating ultrasonic and sonic scaler tips with Teflon material (also called a Teflon scaler) enables dental professionals to use high-frequency tools to professionally clean dental implants without significant damage.
Teflon tape, also called plumber’s tape, is a common DIY tool used to prevent leakage between two pipes fit together. The term “teflon tape” is actually an incorrect one; the material is known as PTFE tape or thread seal tape. The tape wraps around a set of threads and once screwed in, the tape seals any micro gaps between the threads. Plumber’s tape is also used frequently in cosmetic and implant dentistry, among other fields. It’s most often utilized to seal an abutment screw before sealing the access openings. There are a number of advantages to using PTFE tape to do this: unlike cotton, it won’t absorb fluids like a sponge, it can easily be removed to provide access to the abutment screw, packing can be done quickly, and it seals and protects the area above the top of the abutment screw. It can also be used to obliterate the screw access hole in dental implants.