Experienced hygienists know that our profession poses substantial musculoskeletal risks to our bodies over time. While we want to believe we are savvy clinicians with a well-rounded instrument arsenal, do we really know what variety of scalers is available to us? Have we tried a large sampling of the numerous patterns provided by instrument designers and manufacturers? The likely answer for most of us is: not at all. Not only do we lack choice of our instruments during hygiene school, but upon graduating and accepting positions in practice, we are usually granted access only to the instruments already in the practices we join.
Thus, the majority of us use only a very small subset of instruments from the wide spectrum offered, even over the span of longer careers. As a result, even on the rare occasions we are encouraged to choose new instruments ourselves, we tend to reorder the same few instruments we have become accustomed to in practice. Furthermore, those of us who want to research other instruments find very little pertinent clinical information available in traditional product catalogues or websites.
Let’s review some of the most-loved designs across the country, complete with videos of each. With this information, clinicians are fully able to determine what instruments they would like to add to their armamentarium without any uncertainty. Each synopsis below will detail design uses; each video will provide up-close adaptation to intended tooth surfaces for that design, and in some cases, advanced instrumentation options. We will start with anterior scalers, in an “all-star” lineup that covers the most-loved working ends in just a few designs.
- The Anterior Scalette (N137M). Designed and created right here by Nordent® craftsmen, this unique scaler kicks off our lineup with the two most classic working ends available for anterior teeth- a sickle and an anterior curette. While the curette provides safe and gentle subgingival access where needed, the sickle offers a thinner blade for those tiny anterior contacts, particularly those at lower arch. Of course, most of us are familiar with these fundamental designs individually, especially the offset (double-ended) versions. This intuitive design, however, provides straight shanks and working ends, allowing access to all anterior surfaces for both designs with the grasp of just one instrument. The curette toe also provides some stain-removal in anterior lingual grooves, as well, making this instrument particularly well-rounded for general anterior prophylaxis.
- The Jacquette 1S- Sickle N5. This is another no-brainer for clinicians wanting two instrument designs in one. Similar to the Anterior Scalette above, this instrument features a straight sickle on one end. On the other end, however, it has a contra-angled jacquette in lieu of a curette. The jacquette’s longer cutting edge allows it to adapt better at wide anterior facial surfaces, and even to access some lingual concavities as well. Many hygienists who find they do not like the width of anterior curettes interproximally may prefer this over the Scalette, depending on their individual preference.
- The Anterior Lingual Stain Remover. This powerhouse design is a game-changer for stain removal– especially in COVID times when the use of prophy jets is not recommended. One end features a contra-angled spoon, which makes quick work of even the heaviest lingual stain in concavities; the other end boasts a contra-angled hoe, which curves perfectly around straight linguals and line angles in a “c-shape” (which we all love). This allows for stable stain removal of these areas, which frequently prove slippery with other designs. This one instrument alone may reduce our scaling time dramatically for those patients presenting with moderate-to-heavy anterior stains, finally providing relief from one our biggest pet-peeves in practice.
- The Goldman Fox #21 Anterior Scaler. This instrument, like the Jacquette 1S-Sickle N5, features a jacquette on one end and a sickle on the other. However, the jacquette end on this design is shorter and the shank is straight. This allows for a grasp and fulcrum position which is upright and ergonomically sound. It also provides good stain removal for facial and lingual grooves and concavities. The shorter-reach sickle featured on the opposite end helps prevent inadvertent injury to gingival tissues through the interproximal space, making it a sure choice for patient comfort. All in all, this instrument proves a third well-rounded anterior choice for general anterior prophylactic use.
- NMJ Scaler (Universal R138). This scaler is a crowd favorite for a reason! It is a double-ended offset sickle combination, similar to the incumbent anterior sickle, the H6/7. However, unlike the 6/7, it is offset at a larger angle (20°) and has a longer shank. This allows the clinician to efficiently scale all surfaces from the incisors to canines, and even to premolars! In fact, many clinicians (especially those with smaller hands or shorter fingers) find that its medium-length shank allow for great access to straight molar linguals or even distal access at terminal molars. Lastly, it is a great choice for buccal grooves of molars as well.
In an industry of ever-increasing time management expectations for clinicians, hygienists need to both know and proactively explore their arsenal of instruments. Those listed and detailed above are all great starting points for this endeavor. Beginning with Nordent® brand instruments will ensure the premium quality craftsmanship clinicians want. Our instruments are made in the USA, by master craftsmen with decades of experience. Additionally, we have introduced ground-breaking technologies such as the Anterior Scalette, the first-ever ergonomic instrument handles, and our XDURA® line—the longest-lasting scalers in the world. We also demonstrate an unbeatable level of support for our clinicians and products: our fast-turnaround sharpening program is one-of-a-kind, and is available free of charge for our XDURA® and Relyant® lines of instruments. We are also the only manufacturer with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, and 95% success rate for resolution of customer questions in only one inquiry. Lastly, we provide knowledgeable and trustworthy advisors for your practice. We prioritize practice efficiency solutions, furthering your return on investments, and remaining an industry partner by keeping you up-to-date on industry trends.
We hope this first anterior rundown has inspired your curiosity and motivated you to reach for more versatility and performance from your cassettes. Look out for our next rundown- an all-star posterior scaler lineup. Until then– happy scaling!