steve fields stinger

Dental Curettes

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Stinger's saddle slot jim sergovic luthierANOTHER CENTENARIAN VIOLIN slipped through my door unannounced.  Laying its problems before me, 50 years of neglect somehow became acute urgency for repair.  Various needs, however, are becoming easier to remedy.  Our first order of business?  Removing old glue somewhat improperly applied here and there.

dentalhygienistcareerTaking a queue from my favorite dental hygienist, I’ve secured the same tools she uses to clean my teeth.  It began with a damaged curette, no longer suitable for gentle subgingival cleansing.  Within a few years, I had a handful of different shapes and sizes.  One thing I noticed?  All were stamped Made In U.S.A. on the handles.

Why the local dental group practices exclusively with USA-made dental curettes?  Word never filtered back before press time, but it is gratifying to know America is competitive in small precision surgical tools.  Perhaps our fixation with a nice smile keeps the USA at the forefront of dental hygiene?

There are two main curette types.  1] A universal Columbia curette.  2] The c. 1940s Gracey curette, invented by Dr Clayton Gracey with the help of Hugo Friedman.  A Gracey curette has a lower cutting edge and an upper non-cutting edge.  I find the Gracey ideal for cutting glue off delicate wood surfaces.