Sharp Instruments Simply Work Better
The plain truth is that sharp dental hand instruments work far better than dull ones. This includes, hand dental scalers, dental curettes, periosteal elevators, dental elevators, spoon curettes, bone chisels and more. Of course, putting a sharp instrument against a hard surface (tooth, bone) will dull it quickly. Therefore, all of your dental hand instruments should be inspected and sharpened after each and every use before being autoclaved in preparation for their next use.
While there are sharpening services to whom you can send your instruments, sending them out after every use is impractical. Therefore, you need to know to sharpen your own instruments and have the tools with which to accomplish this.
Hu-Friedy is a manufacturer of dental and surgical hand instruments. That have produced a 32-minute video on how to properly inspect, test and sharpen dental scalers and curettes using manual sharpening stones. It is a great video that explains the design and anatomy of these instruments, where the sharp areas are supposed to be and how to recreate a sharp cutting edge while maintaining the original design and anatomy of the instrument. I encourage you all to watch this video and bookmark it for periodic review and to teach new hires. Here is the link – https://youtu.be/z05sQSYpxJs
While sharpening with manual stones is certainly an option, I have found the Rx Honing machine to be a better choice. This machine allows us to not only tune-up a sharp edge quickly and consistently after each use but also to rehabilitate instruments that might have suffered some significant damage. And it is good for scalers, curettes, periosteal elevators, dental elevators, scissors and more.
I have made my own little (amateur) video on using this machine for sharpening dental and periosteal elevators and in it, I also show how to sharpen these with manual stones. Here is the link to that video – https://youtu.be/RpHgLvsfXbI.
I am also offering the instrument sharpening chapter from my old (2004) self published text book. Here is that link – sharpening.
Whether with manual stones or a mechanical device, the important thing is that you keep all of your dental hand instruments sharp at all times. It is an important skill to learn and to use – every day.