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Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Dental Lab Products. He is also the author of 18 technology books, including the award-winning Green IT: Reduce Your Information System's Environmental Impact While Adding to the Bottom Line. As such, he’s particularly interested in the technological side of dentistry.
One hygienist’s take on the new instruments from Brasseler USA.Brasseler USA, an instrumentation manufacturer, has expanded its ImplantPro family of products with new ImplantPro titanium scalers and curettes. The new instruments are designed to be reliable alternatives to plastic instruments.
Brasseler USA, an instrumentation manufacturer, has expanded its ImplantPro family of products with new ImplantPro titanium scalers and curettes. The new instruments are designed to be reliable alternatives to plastic instruments.
Brenda Sharp McCarson, RDH, BS, Brasseler USA’s national manager of hygiene, notes that the scalers and curettes are critical to the maintenance and care of implants.
“Implant maintenance is a crucial part of the dental hygiene treatment appointment and requires instrument selection that safely and effectively results in comprehensive deposit debridement on all natural teeth, implant abutments and prosthetic components,” McCarson says. “Instrument selection must ensure the implant abutment surface is not altered by scratching or gouging during treatment. Alteration of the smooth implant surface can create a rough surface that may be more susceptible to growth of bacterial deposits. Another consideration for the dental hygienist is to choose instruments with a tip composition that will not leave a residue or shavings during implant maintenance scaling.”
The new design is also reflective of dental hygienists’ desire for thinner, easier to use instruments.
“Brasseler designed the new ImplantPro titanium scalers and curettes to answer dental hygienists’ requests for thinner implant maintenance instruments that provide better access with improved patient comfort during periodontal debridement of the perio-implant environment,” McCarson says. “They are strong enough to dislodge calculus and even residual cement, yet very adaptable and less rigid due to the low Rockwell C Hardness of 25-31HRC.
“The ImplantPro Titanium 204S Scaler features thinner, shorter blades with less curvature then a traditional 204S,” she continues. “The four ImplantPro Titanium LTS (LTS stands for longer, thinner, shorter) Universal Curettes feature elongated terminal shanks with thin, short blades to reduce tissue distension and ease subgingival insertion. At first look, dental hygienists will assume the ImplantPro curettes are popular LTS Gracey instruments; however, the ImplantPro curettes, though based upon LTS Gracey instruments, are universal curettes with two cutting edges per working end. Although there are five different universal curette patterns available, most dental hygienists will favor two to three for their implant maintenance kits. Whether the clinician prefers Universal or Gracey curettes, Brasseler USA has a popular tip design available.”
Brasseler’s new instruments incorporate materials best suited for use with implants.
“The metallurgy of the ImplantPro titanium scalers and curettes is 6Al-4V titanium, which is comparable to most implant abutments,” McCarson says. “The titanium instrument tips are not heat-treated and therefore maintain a low Rockwell C hardness of 25-31 HRC. ImplantPro scalers and curettes feature unique blade finishing with long-lasting, polished edges, which are less aggressive than traditional scalers and curettes to ensure the safest instrumentation possible around implants. Because of this special finishing, hand sharpening is not recommended.
“Consequently, the use-life of the new ImplantPro scalers and curettes will be much longer than plastic and graphite implant maintenance instruments currently available. A longer use-life for implant maintenance instruments frees up precious hygiene department dollars that can be redirected for other critical products.”
Ergonomics is an important consideration when designing instruments, and Brasseler developed the scalers and curettes with that concern in mind.
“All ImplantPro scalers and curettes feature Brasseler USA’s distinctive, lightweight PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone) handles for outstanding ergonomics,” McCarson says. “The light, ideally balanced handles of each ImplantPro scaler and curette are specifically designed to minimize hand fatigue and provide the best performance possible.”
Overall, McCarson says that Brasseler’s new scalers and curettes solve many of the complaints dental hygienists have with their instruments.
“Dental hygienists frequently voice concerns related to current implant maintenance instrument composition and tip designs. Common concerns include:
These common dental hygienist concerns and instrumentation challenges are alleviated with the introduction of the new Brasseler USA ImplantPro product line. Key features and benefits address common concerns related to implant maintenance.
“The new ImplantPro product line includes a 204S Scaler with thinner blades and less curvature than a standard 204S and four new LTS Universal Curette patterns with elongated terminal shanks and thinner blades,” she continues. “All designs are much thinner and more adaptable than the plastic and graphite instruments currently available. A low Rockwell C Hardness of 25-31 HRC ensures safe, efficient scaling of implant abutments without damaging the smooth surface when used as recommended. For implant maintenance/recare visits, clinicians should use light instrument scaling strokes with no more than 30 grams of pressure. The medical grade titanium tips are safe and compatible with the titanium implant abutment and should not gouge, contaminate or create galvanic shock.”