Which Are The Best Ultrasonic Denture Cleaners?

As a dentist, I believe that Ultrasonic denture cleaners are the most effective way of making sure your dentures are as clean as possible.

An ultrasonic cleaner is basically a small tub containing a liquid, (usually water) which has high-frequency sound waves projected through it. The ultrasound within the liquid causes tiny bubbles to appear and collapse, very quickly, all through the liquid.

This microscopic "bubbling" cleans the surfaces of anything placed in the tub. It's a small jacuzzi for your dentures!

There are quite a few ultrasonic cleaners available. Some are designed specifically for dentures, while most are designed to be general purpose. The only thing special about the "denture-designed" ones is the size and shape.

They are made just big enough to fit a set of dentures into, and tend to be oval in shape. However, I think that some of them are too small, and are not powerful enough to do a decent job. In addition, some manufacturers charge more for them because they are a "medical device"!

I have looked at A LOT of ultrasonic cleaners over my 30 years in dentistry, and I have selected 4 units that I think are the best available at the moment. I can recommend them.

Two of the units are actually "general purpose", but I have found them to be excellent for cleaning dentures.

  • VioLight Vio300 Dental Spa. This is battery powered, and quite light, so it's great for travel. As the name indicates, it also has an ultraviolet light source to help kill bacteria. The bulb is claimed to have a 10,000 hour life. There is also a "nano-silver" coating on the basket inside the tub, which is claimed to help kill bacteria.

    The Dental Spa has a fixed 5 minute cycle, then it shuts down. Although it is battery-powered, some people have reported being surprised by how loud it is! This is mostly due to the frequency that it operates at, 8,000Hz. Strictly speaking, this is not an ultrasonic cleaner, it is a sonic cleaner.

    Does this matter? The higher the frequency of the soundwaves, the smaller and more penetrating the bubbles. So 8000Hz is a relatively low frequency, and will not penetrate into the tiniest spaces as well as say, 40,000Hz.

    Nevertheless, the Violight Sonic & UV Cleaner is a very good denture cleaner at the price.

  • Sonic Wave by Polident. This operates at a much higher frequency than the Dental Spa - 42,000Hz. This makes it quieter as well as more efficient. The maker recommends using a cleaning tablet in the water, whereas the Dental Spa (above) uses plain water.

  • SharperTek CD-3800. This also operates at 42,000Hz, and has a quality feel about it. The tub is made from stainless steel, and whole thing has a reassuring weight. It is powered by mains electricity, and has a 5-minute cycle with automatic shut-down. This cleaner can be difficult to find, unfortunately.

  • Branson 200. This is a bit more expensive than the others above, at just over $100. However it is also bigger, with a more substantial build quality. It uses a slightly lower frequency, at 40,000 Hz, but this is a very efficient ultrasonic vibration for cleaning dentures. It works very well at getting all types of dentures clean, and helps to prevent stain building up.

The Branson 200 ultrasonic cleaner.

I think the the best one is definitely the Branson 200.

If your budget can stretch to it, the Branson will give the most thorough cleaning. It will also last longer than any other cleaners I have seen, because it has the best construction quality.

How do you clean dentures with an ultrasonic denture cleaner?

First of all, you need to give your dentures a basic clean, as I describe here in cleaning dentures. After you have cleaned your dentures with a brush, THEN you can put them in the ultrasonic tub. The dentures should be completely covered with water. It's important that no bits of the denture are sticking out above the water.

Some ultrasonic denture cleaners recommend dissolving one of their cleaning tablets in the water, too. The chemicals in these tablets can help the ultrasonic action to remove bacteria, but if you have scrubbed your dentures beforehand with a brush, I don't think that additional chemicals are really needed.

Now press the button to start the machine, and let it run through its cycle. This usually takes 5 minutes. After the machine has stopped, take your dentures out, rinse them well under the tap, and you're done!

It's important to remember that ultrasonic denture cleaners do not replace the need to scrub your dentures with a brush - they are an extra step in getting your dentures really clean. You have to do both!