Just like your hand scalers, ultrasonic insert tips wear with use. Worn insert tips can significantly diminish your scaling efficiency:
- 1 millimeter of tip loss results in a 25% loss of efficiency
- 2 millimeters of tip loss results in a 50% loss of efficiency
Think of other clinical items you regularly use – the dental chair, the operatory light, your loupes – a loss of 50% efficiency in any of these items can greatly impact your patient care and your musculoskeletal health.
How does a worn insert affect scaling?
When an insert tip is worn, the “sweep” of the instrument is reduced – in other words, the insert tip doesn’t travel as far on its optimal path. The clinical result of a worn insert can be to:
- Put more pressure on the insert, which can dampen the vibration.
- Turn up the power on the generator, often to high levels for which the tip may not be designed.
Both of these actions can result in inefficient scaling, inferior tip performance and more discomfort for you and your patient.
Keep an Insert Wear Guide handy!
Maximize the efficiency of your ultrasonic inserts by frequently measuring wear on an Insert Wear Guide. It’s simple! Match the insert tip to the corresponding outline on the wear guide to find out if you should discard, reorder or scale away!
Handy tip from a Hu-Friedy Key Opinion Leader
When your insert has reached 25% efficiency loss, or the blue line, put a dot on the handle with an indelible marker. The dot will be a quick signal to you that the tip is somewhat worn and the insert can be used on patients with lighter debris or in situations where heavy debridement is not required. In addition, the dot will signal you to reorder new inserts so that you always can perform at your best.
The Insert Wear Guide will also let you compare the shape of your insert to the matching outline. You can then see if your insert tip has been damaged, bent or altered. Tips that have been damaged, bent or altered can result in inferior performance, poor water delivery and patient discomfort.
To request your free Insert Wear Guide for use with Hu-Friedy inserts, call 800.483.7433 or download a copy at www.hu-friedy.com/insertwearguide.