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?
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.
In addition, there are also many intangible costs with time, packaging, shipping, and the quality, shape and bond on those retipped instruments returned to us as part of our Earthcare™ program. Retipping sometimes cracks the handle, tips outside of original spec and design are sometimes received, original manufacturer warranty and liability is ALWAYS void. When you retip any instrument/patient issues may then become your liability.
Can I order special instruments, such as those that combine different tips?
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™?
Why should I use cassettes for my sterilization procedure?
What are dimensions and will it fit in my sterilization apparatus?
Can I customize my cassette?
What sets PDT FlipTop™ Cassettes apart?
Can you sterilize EasyView Probes, sharpening stones and Gleason Guide™ sharpening devices?
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 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.
To qualify for any guarantee or warranty you must send the product back. Call PDT customer care and you will be given a return authorization number. Once we receive product back with a copy of the original invoice, we can make a determination of age and condition of product.
What is the life of an instrument?
- 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
With proper maintenance our instruments will outlast the competition, lasting 2 to 7 times longer than competitor instruments.
Where can I order PDT instruments?
I'm a dealer representative can I order samples?
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!