Can I choose the color of my instruments?
The colors of PDT's 2nd generation solid resin, handles have a purpose beyond just appearance — they have been anatomically color-coded to be easily identified from a tray setup. Yellow for mesial/posterior, purple for anterior, green for distal, light blue for universal, black for buccal/lingual - premolar, dark blue for diagnostic, orange for implant, and red for periodontal. Occasionally we do specialty colors such as pink or red to show support for a cause or an event. For example, purchasing PDT's Pink Montana Jack® raises money for cancer research.
What is the diameter on PDT instrument handles?
PDT handles are 3/8" in diameter and our average instrument weight is 13 grams to be ideally sized and weighted to help reduce the development of musculoskeletal disorders over time.
What is the purpose of the cross-hatched texture?
The texture of the PDT instrument handle is called ‘Knurling’. The knurling on PDT instruments is designed specifically with ergonomics for the clinitian and optimal sterilization in mind. PDT's pattern was decided on after extensive testing of several different knurling patterns. Our knurling is fashioned in a cross-cross fashion with wider spaces between the grooves. This allows complete cleaning as particles and debris on the surface of the handle easily lift during the cleaning process. The knurling extends to the tapered end of the handle where it meets the shank to provide complete tactile sensitivity for the clinician. The changing pattern gives you great rotational control and better pull force with a feather touch — unlike many other handle designs that require a much tighter pinch.
Can PDT instruments be retipped?
PDT does not recommend retipping. PDT instruments last up to 7 times longer than those that are retipped, and the quality of our instruments is guaranteed. This guarantee encompasses hardness, the sealed bond between handle and tip, shape consistency and angulation tolerance (PDT Tolerance for thickness is +/- .002, +/- 2 degrees for angulations and .25 on length — less than the thickness of a hair). Independent and in-house testing has been done on both PDT and retipped instruments.
- The steel tips on PDT instruments average a Rockwell C of 59, while retipped instruments tested showed an average 52-54RC with some as low as 48RC. A low Rockwell C Hardness score leads to a shorter life span for the blade.
- Independent and in-house testing use a machine that replications a consistent scaling motion. Retipped instruments that were tested wore down up to 900% faster than our PDT USA-made instruments.
Can I order special instruments, such as those that combine different tips?
Yes, we can make special order instruments. If the instruments include tips we already manufacture and you can purchase 10 or more, we are able to justify the special product assembly and keep your price. These instruments can not be returned for refund or exchange.
How often should I sharpen?
How often you sharpen depends on the number and type of patients you see. We recommend using a fine ceramic stone designed for maintaining the edge at least once a week. However, if your cutting edge doesn't feel as sharp as you would like it to be, especially after scaling a patient with significant calculus build-up then we recommend sharpening as needed. Adding sharpening to your sterilization procedure is ideal. Routine maintenance will keep the beveled edge honed and the curvature in good shape. By sharpening regularly, you can expect to spend seconds to sharpen versus minutes for instruments that aren't maintained often. Our brown stone (transformation) should be used for reshaping the blade — if an instrument hasn't been maintained often enough or has gotten a lot of use then you may need to use the transformation stone more often. Honing an instrument is more about maintaining the edge and less about removing metal. Think of a kitchen knife that dulls after chopping on a hard surface. What actually happens is the cutting edge folds over and just needs to be straightened out with a few passes from a sharpening device. When the cutting edge isn't straightened out soon enough it continues to fold over, chip and break down faster. This is where more time and material is lost in order to get it back to its proper shape.
Will my instruments stay sharp forever?
Whether an instrument relies on special coatings or sound metallurgical processes, no instrument can stay sharp forever. As you run a sharp edge over a hard surface, the edge will round and wear slightly with each stroke. Over time, those small changes add up, forcing you to apply more pressure to the instrument to get it to cut properly. This gradual wear can be hard to spot, leading to more discomfort for both you and your patient and a higher chance of burnishing calculus. By creating instruments that not only hold their edge but can also be resharpened, plus a sharpening system that’s easy to use, PDT has designed a system for high-quality instruments that provide real longevity and comfort.
Why use ceramic sharpening stones?
At PDT, we use ceramic sharpening stones because they’re harder, leading to greater longevity. Plus, you don’t have to use oil or water when you’re sharpening with them. By combining durability with convenience, our ceramic stones don’t become a hindrance to maintaining a regular sharpening schedule.
Can the Gleason Guide be used to sharpen instruments made by any manufacturer?
Yes, it can. The Gleason Guide’s sharpened bevel is based off the terminal shank, so any scaler, curette, or Gracey can be sharpened effectively with the Gleason Guide regardless of manufacturer. Keep in mind that some instruments use coatings to maintain their edge, and may not be able to be safely resharpened. Always check a manufacturer’s guidelines before using any sharpening method with these types of instruments.
Why should I use the Gleason Guide™ over an automatic system or other manual device?
The Gleason Guide allows you to sharpen all of your instruments quickly and maintain a consistent edge every time. Many of the expensive automatic systems still won't sharpen all instruments effectively. Maintaining the proper edge and angulation is essential for ergonomic scaling that reduces both pain and the chair time required. The Gleason Guide™ uses just 3 simple steps, Stop, Rest & Glide. Place the back of the middle of the blade against the stop, bring the instrument down against the rest and glide.
How do I sharpen a Queen of Hearts™?
The periodontal Queen of Hearts™ curette has much longer cutting edges than normal. The best way to sharpen the Queen is to use the straight, outside edge of the Gracey side on the Gleason Guide™ sharpening system, then place the back of the middle of the blade against the guide and glide, pivoting the instrument heel to toe as you glide.
Why should I use cassettes for my sterilization procedure?
The most effective system for instrument infection control and sterilization utilizes cassettes. PDT is dedicated to producing the most innovative, superior quality products for the best value. Cassettes save you time by increasing efficiency for sterilization and organization, plus they can help prolong the life of all your instruments by maintaining the highest sterilization standards.
What are dimensions and will it fit in my sterilization apparatus?
The dimensions vary depending on size. The size of ours are designated by letters small to large. A,B,C,D & lastly, E being the largest. All of our cassettes will fit in most sterilization apparatuses and dish washers. Please CLICK HERE for cassette dimension details:
Can I customize my cassette?
We have designed over 18 different cassettes available in several configurations that will hold 5-22 instruments. If these configurations still don't meet your needs then please refer to our customization menu in our FlipTop™ Cassette Catalog. There is an additional 20% on total price for customization. Additional clips may cost less. Please contact our customer care team for more details on special orders.
How Are PDT FlipTop™ Cassettes Different?
PDT's FlipTop™ Cassettes fewer moving parts with more durability. Single piece constructed FlipTop™ made with the highest quality, passivated, surgical grade stainless steel and a unique Teflon double hinge that flips up, over and under for a much smaller footprint. Plus all our cassettes feature easy push button locking latch and open flow-through design. All are 100% made in the USA and come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Can you sterilize EasyView Probes, sharpening stones and Gleason Guide™ sharpening devices?
Yes, but please refer to our sterilization procedures. Don't exceed 350 degrees Farenheit and there are certain types of chemicals like phenols that you should not use.
What should I do if a problem occurs during sterilization?
Contact our customer care department right away at 800-240-9895 so they can issue a return authorization number. Be sure to sterilize and securely package any returns, banding instruments and double boxing them. Ensuring that all of our products meet the highest quality standards is a top priority for PDT. Our quality control department is excellent for solving problems and coming up with solutions. It is also important for us to identify any potential defects or procedures that may need revision.
Has the quality or type of steel used for instruments really changed all that much?
Yes. PDT uses a higher quality, 440A grade stainless steel. Type 440A is higher grade of cutlery steel, with more carbon, allowing for much better edge retention when properly heat-treated. Over the years PDT has developed a proprietary process and a unique heat treat and cryogenics formula to further improve the quality of our steel tips, which have a uniform molecular grain structure. Our instruments average a Rockwell C hardness of 59. What does that mean for you? Sharper, harder, thinner blades that last longer and require much less sharpening.
How much pressure can be applied to an instrument tip?
A clinician could apply up to 4-lbs of pressure while scaling and root planing. However, that much force shouldn't be needed most of the time or when sharpening — excessive force tends to mean dull or misshapen instruments. PDT instruments go through a special heat treatment process that ensures a stronger tip. PDT instruments can withstand 15 to 20 lbs of applied pressure. Most other dental instruments can only withstand 6 to 8 lbs of pressure. Instrument tips can also weaken significantly as they are sharpened, which should be taken into account by the clinician when selecting their dental instruments.
What is your warranty?
PDT offers a 60 day GUARANTEE on all instruments. If you purchase an instrument and it is not what you expected or there is something wrong with it, send it to PDT with the invoice and we will exchange it or give you a full refund. MUST BE RETURNED WITHIN 60 DAYS OF PURCHASE WITH INVOICE.
- PDT scalers and curettes hold their edge longer due to the hardness of the steel and will last longer than most instruments when sharpened correctly. When the working blade has been reduced in size by 30% or more in length or width, the instrument is considered used up, this is considered the “lifetime” of an instrument.
- PDT instruments which have exceeded their life expectancy, have been improperly maintained, chemically contaminated or damaged by excessive heat will not be replaced. Do not expose the resin handles to phenols or excessive heat.
- Trying to modify or re-tip PDT instruments will void the warranty.
- If the instrument is over 5 years old, it will be considered 100% used up and there will be no replacement.
- The warranty for Gleason Guide™ is 5 years: For the warranty to be effective on the guides, register your guide purchase within 30 days of purchase here. You can do this online by going to PDTdental.com. Improper handling of the guide will void the warranty. Too much pressure placed on the guide with the instrument when sharpening can cause wear on the guide this will void the warranty.
- The Warranty on the Diamond Head Ceramic Stone™ and the Transformation Sharpening Stone™ is 5 years. Improper handling, dropping or handling the stone roughly can cause breakage or chipping of the stone and will void the warranty. Too much pressure placed on the stone with the instrument when sharpening can cause wear on the stone and will void the warranty.
- PDT offers a five year warranty on the FlipTop™ cassettes: At its option, PDT will repair or replace, for a period of five years from purchase date, any PDT cassette that is defective because of material failure (including corrosion) or workmanship of the cassette shell, internal or moving parts. Damage from misuse, abuse, negligence or alterations to the cassette void the warranty. If manufacturer’s processing guidelines for commercial grade washers or dental automated washer disinfectors is not followed, the warranty is void. For the warranty to be effective on the cassettes, register your cassette purchase within 30 days of purchase here. You can do this on line by going to PDTdental.com.
What is the life of an instrument?
The life of an instrument is contingent upon several factors so there isn't really a definitive answer. Some of the factors that effect the life of an instrument include:
- The number and type of patients (tenacious calculous build up is also tough on instruments over time)
- Proper maintenance of the cutting edge, such as regularly using a fine ceramic stone to maintain the proper cutting edge and shape or using a coarse transformation stone incorrectly causing the instrument to break down too fast or become misshapen.
- The use of cassettes in sterilization
Where can I order PDT instruments?
PDT is the manufacturer so we don't sell direct. Almost all major dental dealers now stock, sell, and distribute the PDT line of products. Orders placed through our website will be processed through the dental dealer of your choosing. All prices listed on pdtdental.com or in our catalog are MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). Pricing through your preferred dental dealer may vary.
I'm a dealer representative can I order samples?
Yes. You can contact your local PDT representative for samples and other demonstration materials. Or you can login to our rep section to order from a custom order form. Please call for a password 800-240-9895 or request one from the page (type password request in the comment box).
What is so unique about PDT Gracey Instruments when scaling?
PDT's Amazing Gracey™ Instruments are anatomically and ergonomically correct, designed with both clinician and patient comfort in mind. PDT Gracey instrument blades are uniquely designed so that the toe of the instrument is increasingly curved toward the tooth surface during instrumentation. This allows for increased adaptation of the instrument’s working surface providing less strokes and increased debris removal during instrumentation. The design of the PDT Gracey prevents added pressure to the operator’s wrist, no rotation of the wrist occurs when adapting the blade to the tooth surface. The curvature of the Gracey toe also prevents tissue distention during instrumentation. Remove more calculus with fewer strokes!
Are there any major changes for measuring furcations?
Yes. PDT developed the ACE™ Furcation probes partly because of advances with bone regeneration technologies. Now even some teeth with a class III measurement can be saved. The exising probes did not effectively reach and measure all 22 furcations. Insert probe in the furcation, grade one or class I furcations are recorded if the probe just enters the opening up to first black marking. Grade two or class II are recorded if probe is in the black marking or enters the orifice. The furcation is considered a Grade three or class III if the probe enters the furcation, also referred to as a through and through furcation.
Are there any employment opportunities with PDT?
Yes. We have enjoyed rapid growth over the past few years and are always looking for good, qualified people with attention to detail. There are a variety of positions for production, customer service, shipping and sales & marketing that open up at different times. We will keep a copy of your resume on file to review if a position you may be interested becomes available. Send your resume to the attention of PDT Human Resources, 8275 Highway 10 W, Missoula, MT 59808. Please provide references.
Does PDT provide any training materials for educators, dealer representatives, speakers or events?
Yes. We are constantly creating new materials all the time. Currently we are working to develop more educational focused videos with supporting literature. We also donate Earthcare™ instruments for missions and for a variety of other noteworthy causes to improve overall health and awareness. Please contact our Marketing Coordinator, Steve White for videos, high resolution product images, graphics, presentations or other materials.