Changing old habits
Changing old habits
by Chris Gray, owner of Wollaton Dental Care in Nottingham
Like many of my colleagues, I do not regularly change the brand of instruments used every day in my practice, but when Nova Dental Instruments suggested that I 'test drive' its range of hand held periodontal instruments I was interested to see what I would discover.
My initial impression of Nova Instruments was that they are well-made quality products. At 15 grams an instrument, they are balanced and the silicone handles are comfortable to the touch, allowing the user to get a firm grip when removing stubborn areas of calculus. This is a bonus in helping to reduce long-term hand fatigue or possible Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with prolonged scaler use.
I was impressed by the wide selection of tips. The full set allows clinicians to get the most efficient access to all teeth and stops the 'one scaler fits all' habit (a problem for dentists rather than for hygienists). More importantly, it facilitates carrying out improved treatment and with less operator stress. The tips are constructed from 440 A-grade surgical steel, so they guarantee the edge and sharpness of the instruments. With the working tips at the end of a decent length of shank, they allow excellent access to all areas of the mouth, particularly the posterior region. There is also great vision with Nova Instruments to help dentists create a cleaner root surface environment, which leads to better healing. The high quality of the steel tips also allows them to be easily re-sharpened.
With cross infection at the frontline of the dental profession, Nova has addressed the problem of repeated sterilisation without contamination by having the silicone handles sealed from the tip to the stainless steel core. This allows multiple cleaning cycles without contamination at the silicone/steel interface.
There are various aids to achieving clean and smooth root surfaces and in my opinion the use of hand instruments will always have a part to play. Nova Instruments certainly give good tactile feedback - they stay sharp and are a pleasure to work with. The operator's hands are not over-tired after using them and I would recommend them to any dentist or hygienist. Furthermore, they are manufactured by British craftsmen, so buying British means that purchasers will secure a great product at a good price that will more than repay its value.
This article first appeared in the April 2008 issue of The Dentist.