Sharp periodontal instruments such as sickle scalers, universal curettes and Gracey curettes are important for effectiveness. Sharp instruments reduce operator fatigue, improve mechanical outcomes, and increase patient comfort. Differentiating dull from sharp instruments involves visual inspection. When the instrument blade has a visual matte finish under light and “grabs” the test stick, it is sharp enough to conclude sharpening. Sharpening instrumentation includes personal protective equipment, sharpening stones, gauze and cotton swabs. Based on their specific characteristics, sickle scalers, and universal and Gracey curettes each have unique sharpening procedures. The goal is to maintain fidelity to the design characteristics of each instrument as determined by the manufacturer.
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