The considerations with the shank of the instrument include the functionality factors such as long vs. short, heavy vs. thin, curved vs. straight and universal vs. area specific. Each one of these factors will be discussed as the specific instruments are explored. In addition, the flexibility of the shank plays a role in the use of the instruments. Table 3 (Hu-Friedy) defines flexibility as it relates to use and instrument type.
Table 3. Shank Flexibility.
|Flexible||Detection of subgingival calculus|
Removal of fine calculus
Provides the best tactile sensation to the operator’s fingers via the shank and handle
|Moderately-Flexible||Removal of light or moderate calculus|
Provides good level of tactile sensation, allowing detection and removal of moderate deposits
|Rigid||Removal of heavy calculus deposits|
Limited tactile sensations
|Extra-Rigid||Removal of very tenacious calculus deposits|
Limited tactile sensation
|Extra Rigid Graceys|