The Cutting Edge

Posted on November 18, 2015

We are only as good as the tools we use. Shiny, new, razor-sharp instruments make any hygienist jump for joy. We become calculus-scaling champs, slicing through it as if it were butter. We are treating patients with a high standard of care and feeling on top of the world.

Unfortunately, life of the instrument slowly fades with each stroke and we are left with a less than perfect working edge. This can make us feel more fatigued and stressed. The grip on our instruments becomes tighter and we apply more lateral pressure when scaling. The patient may even feel how much heavier handed we become, making their appointment less comfortable. Ergonomically, our body changes to meet the needs of the instrument instead of the instrument meeting our needs. Efficiency is no longer on our side and forget being effective when you are working with less than optimal equipment.

The obvious answer would be to sharpen our instruments. But, who has extra time to sharpen? Not to mention we are not as good as we think, according to the study done by Lory Laughter, RDH, BS, in the April edition of RDH Magazine. This is the vicious cycle we live, unless you are ready to make a change.

Technology changes every day and it’s time for hand instrumentation to move along with it. Sharpen-free XP® Technology is the much-needed change clinicians are looking for in an instrument. How can a sharpen-free instrument exist? American Eagle Instruments embeds titanium nitride into a high quality stainless steel, which creates a very hard alloy. FOURTY times harder to be exact. The level of hardness allows the blade to maintain a factory edge, reducing ergonomic stress and increasing scaling comfort for patients.

Sharpen-free XP Technology® is designed with the hygienist in mind. Since there is no need to re-sharpen the instrument, American Eagle Instruments is able to manufacture each instrument design with a thinner blade. Stainless steel instruments add 30% more metal to allow for sharpening over the life of the instrument. A thin blade gives us the access needed when scaling subgingivally or interproximally, enhancing patient comfort.

In addition to thinner working ends and no need for sharpening, Sharpen-free XP Technology® instruments are used differently than traditional stainless steel, increasing ergonomic comfort for the clinician. Instead of getting under the calculus and popping it off, lighten up on the death grip and shave calculus away in 3-4 exploratory strokes. A sharp blade combined with the modified scaling technique equals ergonomic comfort and less energy wasted.

With XP Technology instruments, there is no need to worry about sharpening instruments at the end of the day, at the end of the appointment, or even during the appointment! Patients’ will thank you, and so will your hands, neck and back. Sharpening instruments no longer needs to be a part of daily life, liberating clinicians to provide the quality of care we strive to deliver for every patient, every day.

- Stacy Deemer, RDH