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  • Rick

The Right Tool for the Job

Updated: May 20, 2021

Dentists are perhaps better equipped than most to perform simple repairs and routine maintenance. They're good at spatial relations and good with their hands. They also have the tools for the job.

A number of dental instruments are useful when performing simple repairs or routine maintenance on your dental equipment. You should have the following dental instruments in your office tool box:

1. A stout sickle scaler such as an H6 or something similar. These are handy for removing old hardened O-rings from the grooves of various valves and components. Also handy for removing pieces of old diaphragm or gasket that may not want to be changed. A scaler can also be used to remove corrosion from electrical contacts of powered equipment.

2. A couple explorers. Also handy for O-ring removal, especially smaller sizes of o'ring or those in areas that are harder to access. Sometimes a finer instrument than a scaler is required.

3. Old highspeed burs. Sometimes an old component simply won't come off (e.g. old gears) so taking a highspeed to it and cutting it off is the way to go. Have some old burs you don't need to worry about trashing for these types of tasks.

4. Extraction forceps. These are the best tools for removing the white plastic sleeve clamps from tubing. Pump them on the sleeves just like pulling a tooth. With every squeeze the jaws move together and naturally work the sleeve away from the fitting until it can be easily pulled off. You want forceps with a smooth and angled jaw such as a 150, 151, or 72.

You certainly don't need the highest quality instruments for your tool box, but buy some that are dedicated for in-office repairs and maintenance so you don't have to worry about damaging the instruments you rely upon every day and so you always have the right tool available when you need it for simple repairs or maintenance.


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