Sharp instruments create better patient outcomes and improve operator experience

Sharp dental instruments are critical for both clinician and patient.  From the patient stand point they are much more comfortable as less pressure is applied to remove calculus and smooth the tooth surface. When sharp instruments are used, procedure time is reduced and what patient doesn’t love gaining time!  Gingival tissues respond better when less repetitive strokes are used and less pressure applied.  Comfortable patients with greater outcomes create the opportunity for word of mouth referrals as patients share their overall experience.  Simply, happy patients share their experience with friends and family providing a potential revenue stream for the office. 

From the operator standpoint, perfectly sharp instruments increase tactile sensitivity, require less pressure to remove deposits, creating less strain and hand fatigue, which decreases carpal tunnel and other hand issues allowing for greater career longevity.  This alone should make the use of perfectly sharp instruments mandatory for all. 

The instrument sharpening issue seems simple, yet in day to day life, who among us has the precise technique and the time available to sharpen as needed? Most hygienists are scheduled so tightly with active patient treatment that there is little time to sharpen.  It is also rare to have such excellent sharpening technique that the instrument shape remains intact and effective over time.  Unfortunately, even the most skilled clinician using dull instruments can ultimately burnish calculus causing more long-term issues for the patients’ health.

There are several methods to sharpen instruments, sharpening stones of various materials, shapes and abrasivity, honing devices and sharpening services. 

Sharpening stones make it difficult to produce consistently accurate results due to subjective operator positioning of the stone and instrument.  It is often ineffective as the operator is required to approximate very specific blade angles.  It is easy to alter the initial factory angles creating a less effective scaling edge.  Each clinician has their own style of sharpening so multiple clinicians sharpening the same instrument may seriously damage the blade angle in an effort to create their own desired preference. We have all been in offices where the beautiful round toe of a Gracey curette has been sharpened to a point, or instruments are so thin they may break when any pressure is applied ruining the effectiveness of the instrument! 

Stone choices require much thought.  Arkansas stones are natural stones, white to black in color.  They are available in soft, medium, hard and ultra-hard and must be lubricated with honing oil.  India Stones are man-made stones, brown in color and available in course, medium and fine grit.  India stones also must be lubricated with oil to use.   Oil makes chairside sharpening more time consuming and difficult to maintain a clean slick-free field.  Ceramic stones are man-made and available in various colors and also course, medium and fine grit abrasivity.  Ceramic stones are better for chairside use as they only require water to lubricate, but still increase time.   Many patients find the sound of chairside sharpening very unpleasant and the thought of “sharp instruments” can add anxiety to their appointment experience.  Grit is the most important factor when choosing a stone.  Depending on the abrasivity of the stone and the pressure applied, too much material can easily be removed thereby reducing the life of the dental instrument.

Honing devices are an option to sharpen very effectively and several different guides are available for purchase.  Nordent created the InstRenew sharpening system in 2003 to allow in office, factory precise sharpening. Those choosing our InstRenew will find a very simple, fast and reproducible option that comes bundled with six scalers or curettes included in the purchase price.  InstRenew allows for far greater accuracy than a sharpening stone and hand sharpening in three simple reproducible steps, position, clamp, and sharpen.  It has been said the technique is so simple that even a 10-year-old can follow the positioning and sharpening instructions. 

Nordent Professional Sharpening Service is our most popular service.  This system allows dental offices to always have access to sharp, excellent instruments creating the greatest possible patient outcome.  Nordent has provided Professional Sharpening Services for more than 51 years so you are assured excellent service and extreme precision.   Any brand and any type of dental instrument may take part in this service from diagnostic instruments and hygiene instruments to restorative, surgical instruments, or even scissors and orthodontic cutters.  All will be professionally inspected to verify no defects in tip or handle upon arrival.  Should an issue be found, or the instrument is too unstable to sharpen, a phone call will be made to offer various options.  All sharpening is done with a felt wheel to remove the least amount of material to gain a razor-sharp edge and a uniform working surface.  We know you will want to rely on Nordent to bring your old instruments new life and longer service.

Nordent also offers a program of FREE sharpening for the lifetime of their Relyant® and XDURA® instruments.  Read that again, yes, free sharpening services for the life of the instrument and it’s easy to get started.  Select either our premium, longer-lasting XDURA instruments or our signature high-quality Relyant instruments and receive FREE unlimited Nordent Professional Sharpening services for the life of the instrument.  To make that even more incredible Nordent offers a 20% discount when it is time for a trade in and will continue with free sharpening for the life of the instrument. 

It’s easy to get started, simply request your Sharpening Shipping Kit, fill out the form and order sheet, then pack and ship the order with your sterilized instruments.  Quick and easy, and your instruments will be shipped back in 1-3 days perfectly sharp. 

You choose the necessary frequency of sharpening.  Personal preference and frequency of use make that determination, though most offices send their instruments in for sharpening every 2-3 months depending on their use.  It is more effective to sharpen frequently as a duller blade requires more material be removed to create a sharper edge which shortens the life expectancy of an instrument. The best system is one that works for you and is easy to maintain. Many offices choose to send their dulled dental instruments to Nordent for sharpening on a specific date every other month or a set number of weeks to maintain a consistent schedule.  Knowing that you can request sharpening as needed offers peace of mind to all staff.

We all know that the quality and condition of your instruments play a vital role in the overall patient experience.  Excellent quality, sharp instruments keep patients more comfortable allowing them to relax in the dental setting and be more comfortable post operatively.  These are the patients that refer to your offices, these patients want to share their overall excellent experience with friends and family raving about your gentle, fabulous care.

Nordent’s professional sharpening service saves the office time and money.  Properly sharpened dental instruments last longer reducing the overall cost and frequency of purchases.   Our sharpening service creates a better patient experience by improving patient comfort and saving them chair time.  Perhaps most importantly Nordent’s professional sharpening service gives clinician’s increased tactile sensitivity allowing for clean calculus removal, much-improved patient outcomes, reduced clinician strain and fatigue, reduced repetitive motion injuries, and is simple to get started. 

Nordent is here for you to provide always perfect instruments, no down side to that!