Dental Surgical Instruments – Importance For Your Practice

dental surgical instruments critical dental australia

Many dental surgeons likely have encountered scissors that don’t cut, or a handpiece drill containing machine bur debris, but is it right to assume that brand new dental surgical instruments should be of a certain level of quality? Of course you’d like to think so, but the truth is that dental instruments can and do differ greatly.

While the Australian Dental Industry encourages an open market which supplies dental practices with a wide range of surgical and non-surgical products, there is a variety of products available, usually from third party retailers such as Amazon and eBay, which don’t comply with the standards accepted by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Yet, while a dentist eager to cut costs may feel that buying cheaper dental instruments and equipment is a smart move, it can have an impact on the quality of care you give a patient.

Let’s take one of the most common faults associated with dental surgical instruments –machine burs as an example…


Australia product regulations state that all implement surfaces should be free from crevices, pores, and grinding marks. Usually, during manufacture, a dental surgical instrument goes through a series of processes including casting and pressing, grinding in the detail, and finally, polishing or finishing off.

If one of these processes is incomplete, or gets missed when going through the machine brush/polish process, then small metallic debris and surface imperfections can remain. This, in turn, may cause problems for the patient. These include:


Blood and tissue collection

Firstly, blood and tissue particles can collect in the ridges or imperfections caused by the faulty manufacturing process. While standard sterilisation processes will remove much of the debris, it can be hard to shift when tiny particles become lodged in instrument ridges. As a result, instruments run a greater risk of transferring particles from patient to surgical instruments list dental surgical instruments critical dental australia

Metallic fragments can wear off 

Another problem is that tiny metallic fragments left on the dental surgical instrument may get transferred from the tool into the patient. While this is rare, it can happen.

Sharp burs may also contribute to glove punctures

Sometimes sharp burs may also be left on instrument handles. This may contribute to some of those unexplained punctures in surgical gloves. Although there are no clear records of any of the above, ISO Australian Standards state that any dental instrument should not incur any sharp or exposed edges other than those which are meant to be there.

Cracks and soldering issues

Other common problems are hairline cracks and soldering issues. How many tools on your dental surgical instruments list have had this problem in the past? Aside from the impending threat of breakage and the inconvenience that it causes you, hairline cracks and solder recesses can again be perfect hiding places for bacteria.


Quality dental surgical instruments

On the contrary, when you buy quality dental surgical instruments from branded manufacturers, you know at the very least that they have been licensed under the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods Administration. Ultimately, this means that they have passed rigorous testing of manufacturing standards and while you may come across the odd malfunction, you’re likely to have a good exchange/refund policy in place for peace of mind.

For the patient, quality dental surgical instruments mean less chance of incurring any of the potentially dangerous conditions listed above but for the dentist, it can also mean fewer problems.

Quality dental instruments like handpieces, scalpels, and scalers are designed to be ergonomically sound. This means they are lighter and more balanced in the hand. Aside from back pain, one of the most common problems dentists get is tendonitis particularly de Quervans disease. A painful tendonitis of the thumb usually caused by long-term and repetitive scaling, extractions and suctioning. The right dental tools can play their part in ensuring that normal dental procedures don’t exacerbate the problem, leading to you having to take time off work.


Cheaper dental surgical tools equal false economy

There is the argument that by keeping your overheads low, you can pass those savings directly onto your customers. However, one area where you probably don’t want to skimp on is dental surgical instruments. Whether that’s a carver, a handpiece, or an excavator, quality tools are built to last. You probably can’t say the same for cheaper non-branded equipment from third-party retailers like Amazon. While you may strike lucky, tools are generally cheaper for a reason.


The advantages of a good dental supplier

The advantages of dealing with a good dental supplier mean that you’re assured of quality tools and equipment. While they may appear more costly than their non-branded counterparts, a good dental supplier can source some of the best dental products available at the best prices. Ultimately, this also saves you time trawling through the internet to find what you need. This is time that could be better spent serving and helping your patients.

If you’re looking to replace some of the items on your dental surgical instruments list with items that are of equal quality or better, then you should consider talking to Critical Dental. We’ve been in the dental supplies’ business for over 50 years and over that time have built up a good rapport with some of the leading manufacturers of dental surgical instruments and other tools and equipment.

To find out what we have to offer, why not browse our extensive catalogue online. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a particular item or brand and can’t immediately seem to source it, give us a call on 02 8883 0674 and talk to our highly experienced team who can help.

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