Reconnecting Practicing Hygienists with the Nation's Leading Educators and Researchers.

Sharpening Instruments

Avatarguestuser Staff asked 7 years ago

Hello, Help! I am so frustrated. My co worker and I have both been practicing hygiene for over 10 years. I sharpen my instruments regularly, often chairside during appointments. I find I need to replace my graceys every 5 months or so and the sickles etc, a bit less often. I also use different stones depending on the need/instrument etc. My coworker on the other hand sharpens her instruments maybe once a month. She has never sharpened chairside and only orders new instruments every year or so. Maybe even less often. Her stone is so worn it has enormous grooves in it. Obviously, my boss finds it strange that I go through instruments so much quicker than my coworker. I am the first one to admit if I missed a bit of calculus yet my coworker proudly claims that she never misses calculus. How is this possible??? Her instruments are terrible, her explorers are bent, she rarely brings a patient back for a second appointment. Frustration is building quickly. Help! Any advice? Thanks in advance, Daw

1 Answers
Mary Kaye Scaramucci, RDH, MSMary Kaye Scaramucci, RDH, MS Staff answered 11 months ago

Hello Dawn,

How are you sharpening instruments? Are you using the moving stone /stationary instrument technique? Removing metal from the lateral sides rather than the face of the instrument tends to prolong the life of the instrument.

Because you sharpen so frequently, maybe you should use a fine stone. Pressure could be an issue too…frequent sharpening doesn’t require heavy pressure. The pressure and stone grit will have an effect on the longevity of your instruments.

Hope these tips will reduce your frustration.

Mary Kaye Scaramucci