Many of you know that my professional journey included founding and owning a dental instrument company.
I started it back in 1998 after practicing in a variety of offices in Ontario and British Columbia. I was new quite often in an office and was also a temp dental hygienist as well, as I followed my husband with his work.
One of the things that I noticed in most of the practices was that the quality of the instruments were very poor. I couldn't recognize most of them (you know the sickilized curette?!) While temping I would often get handed the instruments put aside for the temp, which were often the ones that should have been discarded.
I was always good at sharpening and soon became the 'Sharpening Queen' (I was often called) in most offices where I practiced. I knew how important it was and is to use sharp instruments. Even back then I was very in tune with the 'client experience' and knew that what we were using wasn't working.
After doing some research, I created a company called D-Sharp Dental Instruments. You may have heard of it and perhaps used us as we were an International company.
Along the way, I created my own line of dental hygiene instruments and offered services like professional sharpening, retipping and replacing. I also created a program to help offices maintain instruments.
I ended up selling my company to the manufacturing company in 2011.
I am still super passionate about instruments and all things sharpening. This blog is a very short version of a very long and rewarding story.
I am writing about this today for a few reasons:
1. I have been speaking with so many of our members over the last couple of months who are hand scaling only. I cannot express how important it is for you to use sharp instruments EVERY time. For you, your client and your practice. We all know that using sharp instruments has many benefits including: increasing tactile sensitivity; provides optimal treatment; helps prevent fatigue, strain and repetitive strain injuries, to name a few.
I want to help you...
2. We just uploaded the Summer Dental Hygiene Quarterly issue and it is available to those of you who are subscribers or in the Crest & Oral B Relief Program. It's called 'Maintain Your Edge' (Part 1) and I presented this along with Beth Parkes. This is an online sharpening course.
Included in this session is a download to the Sharpening Guide that I created many moons ago. You can purchase this in our boutique as a post-it sharpening pad or simply print the guide that we gave you and laminate it.
3. Use LM Sharp-Diamond instruments. These are sharpen-free instruments which means you never have to sharpen. We are faced with so many challenges right now. Efficiencies and time playing a major part. With the LM Sharp-Diamond instruments, not only will you love not having to sharpen but you will also love the feel of the handles. You will be more efficient, which will save you time in the chair; but also, save you time that you won't have to sharpen. For most of us, we can no longer sharpen chairside, which I am sure you know this by now. We need to sterilize, sharpen and then re-sterilize. Wasting pouches and Chemical Indicators as well. (If you have questions about this please check with your regulatory body as we have members from across Canada and the United States).
You need to take care of YOU. If your office won't purchase instruments for you, invest in yourself and buy your own. Trust me, you will thank yourself in the end. Some of the LM instruments are hybrids. For instance, the Syntette is one instrument that replaces the GR 11/12 and GR 13/14. This again is an efficiency and also a money-saver.
If you would like help with creating kits, I would be happy to get on the phone with you and help you. We don't sell these through rdhu. You can purchase them through Bisco Canada. It will be worth the investment.
I often get asked "what instruments should I put in my kit". We will have some suggestions for you as we are in the final stages of production for 'Maintain Your Edge' Part 2. We created a Decision Tree for Instrument Selection and will share that with you next week.
In the meantime, if you click the button below we are going to give you the Sharpening Guide.
If you need a sharpening kit, which includes a sharpening stone and sharpening guide (post-it pad) we will have these available in our online boutique. These have been very popular lately and our supplies are being replenished this week. The stone is my most favourite stone that I searched for, for many years. There is a course-grit on one side and a fine-medium on the other. Sometimes we need that little bit extra 'umph' or coarseness to get a sharp cutting edge. The plain grey stones can be extremely frustrating (if you have that style). Once dental hygienists try ours, we see their eyes open wide and they are thrilled to have these comfortable stones in their hands!
You need to find what works for you and your practice. We are so fortunate to be given options that we can do our own research on and choose from. You can always create kits that have a variety of makes of instruments. There is benefit to this as well.
Anyhow, I hope you find this helpful. :)
Thank you for reading! We have a lot of great things in the making so please stay tuned. In the meantime, please find what is scheduled at this time below.
Have a great week ahead and thank you for being a part of rdhu!
Kathleen Bokrossy, RDH President of rdhu