Team Approach: American Eagle Instrument's XP Curettes minimize the need for sharpening

Dental Products ReportDental Products Report-2012-07-01
Issue 7

The hygienist’s take on American Eagle’s XP curettes.  

The hygienist’s take on American Eagle’s XP curettes.


The Purpose

Year after year, survey after survey, DPR’s readers affirm that when it comes to choosing products for their practices, colleague recommendations are vital. Here, we provide space for dental professionals-like you and your team-to reflect on the products they see making a difference.

I graduated dental hygiene school in 1984 and I have witnessed firsthand how science and technology has changed the profession I love. My first semester of school we surgically scrubbed our hands before every patient and only wore gloves as an exception until AIDS came about. Using an ultrasonic scaler also was the exception, and if you chose to use one, many considered you a terrible clinician. Plaque was the bad guy in periodontal disease and biofilm was not even in the textbooks. I have evolved as a clinician and am always amazed when I let go of something I have always done and found something better.

The trouble with sharpening

Sharpening instruments is probably one of the things a hygienist hates most during a clinical day. As a clinician I strive to leave calculus-free surfaces on my patients’ teeth. A sharp edge is ideal for any hand instrument, and unless factory new, is very close to impossible to achieve every time you sharpen. When I find myself using a dull curette I work harder, and more importantly, put my patient through more instrumentation.

Okay I will admit it, I hate sharpening! Even after years of honing my skills in sharpening my curettes, it is usually one of those things I do during open chair time or in the middle of a procedure. Paying me to sharpen is probably not what my employers had in my mind when they hired me, but it is one of those things that needs to be done…or is it?

No more sharpening

While attending the ADA’s Annual Session in Las Vegas this past October I met Lewis Meyers at the American Eagle Instruments booth. I actually had stopped at the booth to say hello to my friend, fellow hygienist Angie Stone, and she introduced me to Lewis. This meeting forever changed my hand instrument of choice.

I’ve used the same brand of instruments, the best on the market, since I was in hygiene school because they are the gold standard. Then Lewis challenged me to try an American Eagle XP instrument. He gave me three of them to try and told me once I used them I would never go back. About 8 months later I am still using them and they are still sharp!

How they work

What makes the XP curettes different from a standard stainless or carbon curette is the patented process that not only hardens the stainless steel, it encapsulates the steel with a diamond-like layer. This diamond layer is the reason they stay so sharp for so long. In fact, the stroke test shows this technology handles 10 times the strokes with only 1/10th the wear compared to the gold standard.

Not only do you NOT have to sharpen XP instruments, they are super sharp from the get go. This sharp edge allows me to complete my scaling and root planing more efficiently with less fatigue. An instrument that is always super sharp gives you superior tactile sensitivity, requiring a much lighter grasp. 

There is a learning curve with the XP instrument because you merely slice through the deposit rather than popping it off. I thought that I would be burnishing the deposit, or worse yet cutting into the tooth structure. I was surprised at how much I preferred this method of scaling and feel my surfaces are much smoother and my patients feel I am much gentler, causing them less discomfort.

I was so pleased with the XP’s efficiency I even began removing some excess orthodontic cement and small overhangs and bragged about this to Lewis. He warned me that although it seems great, I am greatly shortening the instrument’s life span, and because it is so thin, risk it breaking. I now reserve one XP for removing excess materials so the ones in my set ups stay sharp.

Paying it forward

I began using American Eagle XP instruments on a dare from Lewis Meyers and I pay that dare forward with my HygieneFusion offices. I now give every member of the hygiene team an XP version of their favorite instrument and dare them to try it. I have yet to have a hygienist tell me she doesn’t like it. In fact, most often they sing its praises and order XP instruments for themselves. I love sharing technology that works!

The XP has a 100% satisfaction guarantee with no questions asked for refund or replacement, so you have nothing to lose in giving them a try. In the end I have to say Lewis was right. So thank you Lewis Meyers for challenging me to step out of my comfort zone and introducing me to XP Technology. I challenge you to do the same! 

Elizabeth Nies, RDH, EA, AS, is a graduate of Fones at the University of Bridgeport, class of 1984 and has been practicing dental hygiene for 27 years. Active in the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, she is currently the president of the Idaho Dental Hygienists’ Association.

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