Sharpening Dental Instruments

Sharpening of dental instruments

As a dental hygienist, you have often wondered how often should you retip and sharpen your instruments. This depends on the type and number of patients that come to you every day.

We recommend all our clients use a fine ceramic stone, which is specially designed to maintain the edge on all instruments for approximately one week. Sometimes, you might feel that your cutting edge is getting less sharp, especially after scaling a heavy calculus built up or cutting through periodontal bone with a lot of unnecessary force.

In this case, we recommend you send your instruments to us for some professional sharpening, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

​However, adding sharpening dental instruments to your routine sterilization procedure is ideal for properly maintaining your instruments. If you feel that the instrument hasn’t been used often or has been maintained properly, then you should use the transformation stone instead. The sharpening process is less about removing the metal and more about maintaining its sharp edges.

​Try to think of a kitchen knife that is dull after continuous use of chopping on hard surfaces. That cutting edge is slowly folded over and needs to be sharpened with a sharpening device. If it’s not corrected, it will continue to fold over, break, and chip off faster. More time, material, and the cost is consumed and lost if not sharpened back to its original form.

If we periodically maintain the sharp edge, less energy is used, and a lot of our time is saved. This same principle applies to dental instruments, which are used in our practice every day on various patients.