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Instrument Care

Posted on 16th Feb 2016 @ 8:01 PM



A Simple Solution to keeping your hygiene scalers and curettes sharp is using the Nordent InstRenew Sharpening Assistant. A sharp instrument means you can be more efficient in your cleanings. You can also acheive maximum instrument protection during sterilization by using the Nordent Sterilization Cassette System.

Care must be taken to inspect, clean and sterilize instruments prior to each use. Instruments that show any signs of corrosion, are dull or have weakened blades, misaligned or show defects should be taken out of service immediately.

Stainless Steel Instruments 
Nordent uses many different types of stainless steels in the production of instruments dependent upon the design and application of the instrument. All stainless steels have a high nickel and chromium content to maximize corrosion resistance but will corrode and discolor when subjected to high concentrations of certain chemicals.

Never expose stainless steel instruments to products that are not specifically formulated for use with dental instruments or for the purpose of cleaning and sterilizing dental instruments. Do not expose stainless steel dental instruments to the following chemicals. These chemicals will cause an adverse reaction and may destroy your instruments:

-Chlorine or Chlorinated products
- Household Bleach
- Tarter and Stain Remover
- Aluminum Chloride
- Aqua Regia
- Barium Chloride
- Bichloride of Mercury
- Calcium Chloride
- Carbolic Acid
- Chlorinated Lime
- Citric Acid
- Dakin’s Solution
- Ferric Chloride
- Ferrous Chloride
- Hydrochloric Acid
- Iodine- Lysol®
- Mercury Chloride
- Mercury Salts
- Phenol
- Potassium Permanganate
- Potassium Thiocyanate
- Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach)
- Stannous Chloride
- Sulfuric Acid and Tartaric Acid (Tarter & Stain Remover)

Be sure to only use solutions and chemicals that are compatible with stainless steel hand instruments. 

Nordent Stainless Steel Instruments can be sterilized by any recognized acceptable method of sterilization including:

• Steam Autoclave
• Chemical Vapor 
• Dry Heat
• Ethylene Oxide

Never exceed temperatures 350º F / 177º C as this will have an adverse effect on the temper of the steel.

Titanium Nitride Coated (gold colored) Instruments
Titanium coatings are used to increase the surface hardness of instrument tips and reduce “pullback” when manipulating composite materials. Nordent produces a selection of the following instruments with titanium nitride coating:

- Restorative Composite Placement Instruments (increases surface hardness for smoother restorations)
- Surgical Elevators (to maintain longer lasting sharpness)
- Surgical Periotomes (to maintain longer lasting sharpness)
- Surgical Luxation Blades (to maintain longer lasting sharpness)

Proper care should be taken to remove any residual composite materials from the blade within 5 minutes after use by wiping the blade with alcohol on a 2x2 gauze. Composite materials or residue can harden on the blade and affect the quality of future restorations. composite residue left to harden on the blade can not be removed without damaging the surface finish of the composite placement instrument. Never use abrasives to clean the surface of any titanium coated composite placement instruments, elevators, periotomes or luxation blades.

Titanium Nitride Coated instruments can be cleaned and sterilized using the same recognized acceptable methods as stainless steel instruments.

Anodized Aluminum composite placement (black colored)
Instruments such as the Felt Instruments should be kept separate during the cleaning and sterilization process. These instruments should be cleaned with a mild detergent under running water. They should never be ultrasonically cleaned. After cleaning they may be sterilized in a Steam Autoclave or Dry Heat sterilizer according to the manufacturers instructions for aluminum instruments.

Hinged Instruments
These instruments should be allowed to thoroughly dry in an open position after ultrasonic and manual cleaning procedures. Care should be taken to keep hinges and joints of forceps, rongeurs, scissors, pliers, hemostats, crown placement pliers, etc. well lubricated. Only use lubricants specifically formulated for dental and surgical instruments and follow manufacturers instructions for applications. Household lubricants, hand-piece lubricants and other lubricants not specifically formulated for dental and surgical hand instruments should never be used.   

If you need more help or possible training in caring for your instruments, contact us.