What Is Sonic Pic?

By HighYa Staff
Published on: Jan 13, 2018

By delivering 3,000 gentle vibration waves per minute, Sonic Pic is an at-home dental cleaning system that promises to help you remove plaque, tartar, and stains from hard-to-reach places, leading to whiter teeth and healthier gums.

And since the device is battery operated (a single AAA, which is not included) and portable, we’re told you can achieve this wherever you are—just press the button on the side and point the tip toward the area you want to clean. From there, it will go to work on the front, back, and in between your teeth, as well as on any crowns, implants, veneers, or other dental work.

The website tells us that additional potentially helpful Sonic Pic features include:

  • An ultra-bright LED for maximum visibility
  • Ergonomic design with soft comfort handle
  • A low-profile tip (including a silicone flossing tip for healthier gums, which can be changed by simply pulling on the head)
  • Enamel safe operation for adults and children alike

Most of us are well aware of the benefits of good oral hygiene, and of visiting the dentist regularly. But will Sonic Pic really leave your teeth looking and feeling like they were professionally cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler at your dentist’s office, as the website claims?

That’s just one of the product’s central claims we’ll help you unpack in this brief article. And to begin, we’ll address a few fundamental concepts.

The Basics of How Ultrasonic Scalers Work

Nearly all of us are familiar with traditional scalers; the small metal and plastic hooked tools dentists use—often uncomfortably—to scrape away plaque and tartar from the surface of teeth and from underneath the gum line.

Well, according to McLoughlin Dental Care in Milwaukie, OR, an ultrasonic scaler accomplishes much of the same. But instead of manual scraping, these handheld devices use electromagnetic forces to cause a tiny tip at the end of the unit to vibrate rapidly.

And depending on the type of the device, the motion of this vibration will either be elliptical (oval; magnetostrictive), or linear (in a straight back and forth movement; piezoelectric). Either way, we’re told that these devices can range between 18,000 and 50,000 vibrations per second, which means they reach ultrasonic speeds.

Because of the speed and preciseness of professional ultrasonic devices, they can often reach periodontal pockets better than traditional hand scalers, and often deliver a more comfortable experience for patients, since (among other things) they utilize a coolant spray to “flush the area and remove bacteria and their by-products.” How does all of this relate to Sonic Pic?

At just 3,000 vibrations per minute, Sonic Pic vibrates much slower than something you might find at your dentist’s office, and as such, wouldn’t be classified as an ultrasonic device. In fact, most professional ultrasonic scalers measure their cleaning power in kHz, not vibrations per minute.

As such, we think it might be wise to maintain realistic expectations about its overall ability to deliver a similar level of cleaning, plaque removal, or freshness as a visit to your dentist.

How Much Does Sonic Pic Cost?

Two Sonic Pic handheld devices are priced at $29.99, in addition to a $13.98 S&H charge and a $1 web service fee, bringing your total to $45.47. Each device also comes with a stainless steel scaler tip, oral care mirror, and a soft care gum tip.

While the Registered Dental Hygienists magazine explains that tip wear on professional ultrasonic devices is “subtle, occurring over a period of time,” there’s no indication on the Sonic Pic website of how long its tips last, if replacements can be purchased through the website, and if so, how much they cost. Or, which motion the device vibrates in, whether elliptical or linear.

To learn more, we tried reaching out to customer support at 844-822-2348 (the toll-free number listed on the site at the time of our research), although we received a message advising it wasn’t in service.

Nonetheless, all orders come with a 30-day money back guarantee, less S&H charges.

What Do We Know About the Company Behind Sonic Pic?

Sonic Pic is manufactured by the Spark Innovators Corporation based out of Fairfield, NJ, who’s been in business since 2008. In that time, they’ve released dozens of popular products.

As a company, Spark Innovators held an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, with one negative customer review and 11 closed complaints, as of 1/10/18. When additional details were available, most of these referenced ordering and problems. A company representative responded with a resolution in each instance.

Sonic Pic vs. the Competition: Are There Other At-Home Ultrasonic Scalers?

We encountered many different ultrasonic scalers available for online purchase during our research, although none were battery operated, all featured water flushing capabilities, and the majority was priced in the hundreds—or even thousands—of dollars range. Not to mention the fact that these devices should only be operated by trained professionals, both for maximum results and from a safety perspective.

Even when moving outside of the ultrasonic spectrum, though, we didn’t encounter any other at-home, battery operated scalers of any type during our research. As such, if you’re looking for a product that delivers even remotely the same features, it appears that Sonic Pic is currently the only game in town.

Does this necessarily mean that you should go ahead and hand over your hard-earned money? In other words, how much value can you expect the device to provide? In the next section, we’ll wrap up the article and help move you one step closer to making a more informed decision.

Our Bottom Line About Sonic Pic

We didn’t test Sonic Pic ourselves to provide firsthand feedback, but based on what we learned from the product’s website, as well as online dental professionals and the Registered Dental Hygienists magazine, it doesn’t appear that it will deliver the same ultrasonic speeds as something you’d likely find at your dentist’s office.

Because of this, as well as the fact that ultrasonic scalers are typically operated by trained professionals, we remain skeptical that it would deliver the same level of tartar removal or boosted gum health. And even if it did, it’s important to point out that scalers are only effective at removing stains on the surface of teeth (intrinsic), and not those located underneath the enamel (intrinsic).

Does this mean it won’t provide any cleaning at all, or that it won’t help reduce the amount of time your dentist spends hand scaling your teeth during your next appointment? Again, we didn’t test it ourselves.

But if you feel like finding out for yourself, Spark Innovators seems to stand behind Sonic Pic with a 30-day refund policy. Just keep in mind that you’ll lose your initial $13.98 S&H charges, plus whatever it will cost to ship the devices back to the manufacturer.

If you’re looking to maximize the value of your dollar, though, we’d recommend speaking with your dentist before making any purchases.

» RELATED: How to Choose an At-Home Teeth Whitening System That Works

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22 Consumer Reviews for Sonic Pic

Average Consumer Rating: 1.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 2 4 star: 0 3 star: 2 2 star: 2 1 star:  16
Bottom Line: 23% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 22
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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Utter rubbish

    • United Kingdom,
    • Mar 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I got this product and when I tried to put in a AAA battery, it didn’t fit. I also realized that this product was very cheap and flimsy for the money, it wasn’t cheap.

    I contacted the company and they told me it should have been an AAAA battery, which is a penlight battery. I did mention that I wanted a refund, they offered me a 10% discount, which I didn’t get. When I finally tracked down the batteries, the device didn’t work, and I am now getting no communication from the company.

    More cheap, worthless Chinese product, no wonder their economy is shrinking, I hope it goes all the way!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    It was alright!

    • Anderson, SC,
    • Mar 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Once I tried a four AAAA battery, I was able to get it to work. I bought it at Target for $10. $5 for the battery. It did feel ok. I just had to pay more for the battery. I didn't know they made that size. It's not a miracle worker, but it's alright to take away when you can't use a water pic.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Absolute rubbish

    • England,
    • Feb 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Absolute waste of money. It says one AAA battery but there is no way that battery is ever going in, totally gutted I fell for it, would def not recommend to anyone. Do not be fooled, this is a waste of money.

    I was hopeful it was going to work even if not quite as good as they said but to not even get past putting battery in is an absolute joke!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your money

    • Nashville, TN,
    • Feb 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    After waiting for over a month, I tried to use the product. I inserted the battery and tried to turn it on. When it did not start, I removed the battery. The battery was so hot it burned my hand. I was too afraid to try it again. I felt like it might explode or burn up.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Feb 19, 2019

      Aj M.

      That's because you need AAAA batteries, not AAA batteries. You can buy them online, Duracell does them.

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    So-so, not a miracle but helps

    • Florida,
    • Feb 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    First of all, I ordered mine and it sat in China for weeks - total delivery time one month. It arrived in a package with nice pictures but not even a clue as to where the battery opening is. I finally figured it out and also how to get the screw-on cap to make contact. My AAA battery was a slightly tight fit, but OK.

    Important: It takes two hits of the switch to get the light AND vibration. One hit gets only the light, so you might think it's broken.

    I read many negative reviews but I have to say it makes a difference compared to brushing and even scraping with a dental tool. It's gentle enough to cause no trauma and the light illuminates the work area well enough. Nothing spectacular, understand, but for the money I paid (about $25 with shipping for one unit) it's worth it to have something that makes even a small but noticeable difference.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    SCAM

    • West Yorkshire, England,
    • Feb 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I can't believe I fell for this!

    The battery does not fit. Stainless steel scaler tip is glued in and won't come out! A total waste of my money. Thanks once again China for your dud product.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    It's a scam

    • London, England,
    • Feb 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The battery does not fit - the compartment is far too narrow for the battery AAA as advertised required for use, it will NEVER work. It's a good thing it doesn't because there's NO WATER SEALANT and considering it's to be used in a wet environment and most dangerously your mouth, it's only a matter of time before it shorts causing burns, shock or potentially exploding.

    It is slow to be delivered (took four weeks to arrive) and customer service never returns any communication.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 12 out 12 people found this review helpful

    Waste of money

    • Johnston, RI,
    • Feb 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Comes with no instructions, not even which end the battery goes first. Doesn't work either way.

    A rip-off, too bad. I was curious to see if it worked, but it does not. It should come with simple instructions and is cheaply put together.

    I couldn't recommend because it never worked for me, I could not even get it to turn on.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Impressed

    • United Kingdom,
    • Jan 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have to say, there must have been a bad design batch that other people bought because I found this very straightforward to use. One AAA battery inserted into the twist-off base.

    After the first use, I immediately felt a difference! I kept running my tongue along my teeth to make sure and yes! I got that post dental fresh clean mouth feel.

    No, it’s not going to replace my regular dental visit or brushing alone, but I think my dentist will be impressed with my dental care when I do.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Feb 23, 2019

      Julie S.

      Did you need to use the little metal thing that is at the end of it?

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  • 5 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Not a great start but only due to mislabeled info

    • Jan 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I received my Sonic Pic, about three weeks after I ordered it as I ordered it through social media, and I went to use it for the first time tonight and it says please use one AAA battery but it doesn't fit. No amount of fitting or pushing will get that battery in there. I come to this site to find it actually needs a AAAA battery, and for the first time ever I've heard of this battery, but they are easily obtained. I will update once my batteries are delivered. Hopefully anyone else who comes here will see there was either a miss print, incorrect information on the packaging, which then makes me wonder if it's a legitimate product, but we shall see. I was excited to use this but I guess the excitement will have to wait. I'm hoping it will save me £50 and a trip to the dentist.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Beware!

    • United Kingdom,
    • Jan 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I purchased this in good faith, battery does not fit, falls apart, do not buy, a total waste of money! I will be following this up and will make a big pain in someone’s butt until I get my money back!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Feb 8, 2019

      Sarah T.

      Hi, it needs an AAAA battery.

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