Dental Instruments- How are they manufactured?

introduction of dental instruments

Dental instruments entail a healthy smile; because a healthy smile is a beautiful smile!From tooth decay to misaligned teeth, dental problems are prevalent amongst all ages of people.  However, dentistry offers a wide array of dental treatments to restore and help you maintain optimum oral health.

Dental Instruments- What are they?

When a dentist performs any dental treatment, even a basic dental exam or check-up, particular instruments are laid down on the dental unit that aids in the procedure. Those perfectly curated and shiny dental instruments undergo a complex manufacturing process to ensure their workability and safety in the dental office.“The tools that the dental professionals use to perform dental check-ups and treatments are called dental instruments. There are various instruments used to examine, restore, treat, clean, and remove the tooth along with the surrounding soft and hard tissues.”

What are the Dental Instruments made of?

Dental instruments are made of a variety of materials; some of them are:

  • Stainless steel
  • Nickel-chromium
  • Nickel-titanium
  • Titanium
  • Dumoxel
  • Dumostar
  • Tungsten carbide and diamond (for burs)
  • And many more

However, any of the materials used should possess the following properties:

  • Resistant to corrosion: Dental instruments undergo sterilization and are often exposed to harsh conditions hence; the materials used should resist rust and corrosion.
  • Easy maintenance and cleaning: the reusable dental instruments have to be cleaned, disinfected, and sterilized. Therefore, they should offer easy maintenance.
  • Strength: the materials used to manufacture the instruments should have adequate tensile strength, fatigue strength, and hardness to bear the pressure loads.
  • Sustainability and durability: the instruments should offer long-shelf life and offer resistance to wear and tear.

How are the Instruments Manufactured?

There are different types of instruments specific for each dental treatment. For example, for tooth removal (extraction), the instruments can be surgical or non-surgical. However, the manufacturing steps for all of them are almost the same.To understand how the instruments are made, let us get familiar with the machining process used to manufacture them:Here are some of the machines enlisted;

  • MILLING:These machines remove the metal from an instrument with rotary cutters/revolving, and they can drill, bore, and break a variety of dental materials
  • DRILLING: to drill holes into instruments for screws and to assemble them
  • BENDING:the bending machines are used to curve the tips of instruments and blades of the surgical instruments to make the edges safe yet workable
  • FORGING: this process is used for surgical instruments to manufacture the male and female parts

Once the material undergoes the machining process, temporary assembling of the materials/instrument is done according to the drawing or master sample. After which the instruments undergo the following:

  1. FILING:To get the accurate size of the instrument, filing is performed to eliminate debris or a small amount of material from the surface of the instruments. Once the instruments undergo filing, they are inspected for the estimated shape, design, and measurement.
  2. GRINDING:Grinding stone removes excess metal and eliminates the sharp edges with a cutting tool to ensure high surface quality.
  3. SANDBLASTING:Sandblasting ensures smoothens or removes the debris produced after welding or any heat treatment (such as forging).
  4. ELECTRO-POLISHING:it uses a chemical solution to smoothen the instruments further.
  5. CLEANING:ultrasonic cleaning is ideal for shaping and cleaning instruments.
  6. ETCHING: chemical etching and laser etching are used to mark codes on instruments with high precision.
  • Bar-coding system: Instead of detailed information, the instruments are coded through which the database-stored information can be easily accessed. An EAN-13 (European Article Numbering) bar code consists of 12 digits referring to the product code with the last one as the check digit.
  • Packaging: Lastly, when the instruments are cleaned, shaped, and polished, they are packaged into delicate (think of it as fancy-box packing) or standard packages (commonly available plastic packaging).

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