How To Sharpen Dental Instruments

If you’re a good dentist you know that you owe your patients good service. Good service means minimizing the pain and discomfort. You can achieve this by making sure your dental instruments are well-taken care of and sharpened accordingly. There are three segments that you need to perform to make sure your dental instruments are sharpened for these to be used on your patients. These are: sharpening instruments with flat edges; sharpening instruments with curved edges; and cleaning up all your instruments afterward. Proceed to begin.

Make sure you have the following. You can buy any of these at a dental supply store.

  • Honing oil to lessen friction caused by heat.
  • Carborundum stone to serve as the base for sharpening the instruments.
  • Gauze, which you’ll need for testing each instrument and for cleaning up.
  • Water for cleaning up.
  • Ultrasonic machine to get rid of excess metal fragments.
  • Autoclave dental instruments to keep all your dental instruments sanitized

Gather all your flat-edged dental instruments.

  • Apply a couple of drops of honing oil to the Carborundum stone. You need to spread the oil evenly on the Carborundum stone. The oil acts as buffer against friction as well as a preventive measure from metal sticking or melding to the stone after heat has been applied to it.
  • Place each flat instrument one at a time on the Carborundum stone.
  • Apply sliding pressure on the flat instrument and stop after reaching the edge of the Carborundum stone.
  • Take the instrument off the Carborundum stone.
  • Tear off a piece of gauze.
  • Run the instrument on the center of the gauze and make a slicing motion with the instrument. A perfectly sharpened instrument will make a clean cut without leaving frayed fibers on the gauze.
  • When you are satisfied, set the instrument aside and move on to the others.

Gather all your round-edged dental instruments.

  • Repeat the first two steps as you did on the procedure involving your flat-edged instruments e.g. honing oil and placement on the Carborundum stone.
  • Make sure that the round edges of each instrument are as close to the base of the stone as you can position it.
  • Drag the round-edged dental instrument over the stone until you reach the edge of the stone. Remember, as opposed to sliding the instrument, this time you must drag it to sharpen it.
  • Cut a piece of gauze and slice the center of the gauze with the sharpened instrument.

Clean up your dental instruments.

  • Collect the Carborundum stone and run it under water to get rid of the metal particles, oil, and other debris that have been left on the surface from the sharpening process. Pay attention to getting rid of as much of the oil as you can. Oil attracts dirt over time and the accumulation of it on the Carborundum stone will make sharpening very hard the next time.
  • Set the Carborundum stone in an airy place for it to air dry. Never use any sort of fabric or paper to wipe it with.
  • Get your dental instruments inside an ultrasonic machine to dislodge excess metal and other particles that clung to then during the sharpening process. Let the ultrasonic machine clean your dental instruments for 30 minutes.
  • Sterilize these instruments in the autoclave machine.

When you take pains to care for your dental instruments you are actually taking the right step towards a pain-free experience for your patients. When your patients come off your dental chair with a good experience, they’ll keep coming back to you and take the people they know to your office, too!


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