Tool Review: Hu-Friedy EXD 11/12 calculus detection probe


by Dr Rick Spencer, Spencer & Day Dental, Strathfield, NSW

Some people joke that dentists aren’t good at scaling so they hire hygienists. However, as many dentists don’t employ a hygienist, it’s important for them to be aware of this instrument. A leading American hygienist, Anna Pattinson, came to Australia a few years ago and she recommended this probe. This instrument can help any dentist perform a higher level of scaling by increasing their detection skills.

What’s good about it
Whenever I’m scaling and discover a bleeding area in a well-maintained patient that has good oral hygiene, it can indicate residual calculus below the gum. It’s also very difficult to detect calculus in between the back teeth when it’s below the gumline. This probe is placed under the gum and, with a very light touch, you run the probe up and down the root surface.
The instrument is very fine and it will detect small discrepancies, irregularities or roughness on the root surface. By holding the probe lightly with the fingertips, it gives a better tactile sense. Sometimes it actually works better if the dentist shuts their eyes to increase sensory acuity.
It’s very cheap to buy and quite hardy. Even if you drop it, it won’t break.
Now that it’s known that gum disease is related to heart disease and diabetes, I think dentists should strive to reduce bleeding areas in their patients..
Every piece of calculus can represent thousands of bacteria. The last piece of calculus you remove is the most important piece.

What’s not so good
It takes some time to become proficient.

Where did you get it
Henry Schein.


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