Q: When sharpening a universal curette with the stationary technique, the terminal shank should be at:
(A.) 11 o’clock
(B.) 12 o’clock
(C.) 1 o’clock
(D.) 2 o’clock
Answer: (B.) 12 o’clock
Key word: Universal curette
The Universal Curette blade has two parallel cutting edges that meet at a rounded toe. The facial surface of the blade is positioned to form a 90° angle with the terminal shank. This is important to note because it affects the positioning of the stone and instrument while sharpening.
- INSTRUMENT POSITION: Hold the instrument vertically in your non-dominant hand. The blade to be sharpened will be at the bottom with the toe pointed toward you. Brace the side of the top shank with your thumb and place your elbow directly in front of you on the table. Position the terminal shank at 12 o’clock.
- STONE POSITION: In an upright vertical position, initially direct the top of the stone upward toward 12 o’clock and then tilt the top of the stone away from the instrument to 3 minutes past 12 o’clock (also referred to as 1 o’clock).
- STONE MOVEMENT: Initiate grinding in a fluid up-and-down motion. Start at the heel third of the blade then continue to the middle third and finally the toe third. Remember to maintain a continuous up-and-down motion using long strokes with moderate pressure.
- SHARPENING THE OPPOSITE CUTTING EDGE: Rotate the instrument so that the toe is pointed away from you. Maintain the secure palm grasp and again brace the top shank with your thumb. Repeat the grinding process keeping the terminal shank at 12 o’clock and the stone position at 3 minutes past 12 o’clock (also referred to as 1 o’clock).
This is reversed for left-handed clinicians; the stone will be 3 minutes before 12 o’clock (also referred to as 11 o’clock).
Gracey curettes have blades that are angled. Therefore, the terminal shank should be positioned at 11:00 for odd number blades and 1:00 for even number blades. This is reversed for left-handed clinicians.
To learn more about instrument sharpening, refer to this comprehensive guide created by Hu-Friedy “It’s About Time.”
Another solution is to use EverEdge® instruments. These quality instruments designed by Hu-Friedy have a unique metal structure that prolongs the life of the instruments. An independent study shows that EverEdge® 2.0 is 72% sharper out of the box than the closest competitor. After 500 strokes, EverEdge® 2.0 is over 50% sharper than the next closest competitor. To learn more about the efficacy of EverEdge® 2.0, read this independent study.
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