Instrument survey – Dentistry IQ

Forty percent of dental hygienists sharpen instruments every day or at least once week, and they favor a manual stone or guide when they do it, according to an RDH eVillage survey.

The survey, which was completed by 421 RDH eVillage readers, opened up with a question about the frequency of sharpening instruments. Since the answers were anonymous, the question emphasized the word “really” in the question, “How often you really sharpen each of your instruments?” The responses were broken into the following categories:
Responses were also generated in response to another question about sharing instrument set-ups with other hygienists in the office. More than 40% said each hygienist has six to seven set-ups, and 23% indicated that they have eight to nine set-ups. Only 36% share set-ups with other hygienists, and some of the reasons given were:

The survey also inquired when dental hygienists know when an instrument needs to be sharpened; 58% chose the option of “not removing calculus cleanly.” Twenty percent said they know due to “the pressure you apply; 15% can tell from a test stick.

Thirty-one percent estimate that a scaler or curette will last 12 to 18 months, while 24 percent say instruments last fewer than 12 months.


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