Frequently Asked Questions


The colors of PDT’s 2nd generation solid resin handles have a purpose beyond just appearance — they have been anatomically color-coded to be easily identified from a tray setup.

Yellow for mesial/posterior, purple for anterior, green for distal, light blue for universal, black for buccal/lingual – premolar, dark blue for diagnostic, orange for implant, and red for periodontal.

Occasionally, we use specialty colors such as pink or red to show support for a cause or an event. For example, purchasing PDT’s Pink Montana Jack® raises money for cancer research.

PDT handles are 3/8″ in diameter and our average instrument weight is 13 grams to be ideally sized and weighted to help reduce the development of musculoskeletal disorders over time.

The texture of the PDT instrument handle is called ‘Knurling’. The knurling on PDT instruments is designed specifically with ergonomics for the clinician and optimal sterilization in mind. PDT’s pattern was decided on after extensive testing of several different knurling patterns.

Our knurling is fashioned in a cross-cross fashion with wider spaces between the grooves. This allows complete cleaning as particles and debris on the surface of the handle easily lift during the cleaning process. The knurling extends to the tapered end of the handle where it meets the shank to provide complete tactile sensitivity for the clinician. The changing pattern gives you great rotational control and better pull force with a feather touch — unlike many other handle designs that require a much tighter pinch.

PDT does not recommend retipping. PDT instruments last up to 7 times longer than those that are retipped, and the quality of our instruments is guaranteed. This guarantee encompasses hardness, the sealed bond between handle and tip, shape consistency, and angulation tolerance (PDT Tolerance for thickness is +/- .002, +/- 2 degrees for angulations, and .25 on length — less than the thickness of a hair).

Independent and in-house testing has been done on both PDT and re-tipped instruments.

  • The steel tips on PDT instruments average a Rockwell C of 59, while retipped instruments tested showed an average of 52-54RC, with some as low as 48RC. A low Rockwell C Hardness score leads to a shorter life span for the blade.
  • Independent and in-house testing uses a machine replicating a consistent scaling motion. Retipped instruments that were tested wore down up to 900% faster than our PDT USA-made instruments.

In addition, there are also many intangible costs with time, packaging, shipping, and the quality, shape, and bond of those retipped instruments. Retipping sometimes cracks the handle. Tips outside of their original spec and design are void from the original munufacturer warranty and liability. When you retip any instrument, patient issues may then become your liability.

Yes, we can make special order instruments. If the instruments include tips we already manufacture and you can purchase 10 or more, we are able to justify the special product assembly and keep your price. These instruments can not be returned for refund or exchange.


How often you sharpen depends on the number and type of patients you see. We recommend using a fine ceramic stone designed to maintain the edge at least once a week. However, suppose your cutting edge doesn’t feel as sharp as you would like, especially after scaling a patient with significant calculus build-up. In that case, we recommend sharpening as needed.

Adding sharpening to your sterilization procedure is ideal. Routine maintenance will keep the beveled edge honed and the curvature in good shape. By sharpening regularly, you can expect to spend seconds to sharpen versus minutes for instruments that aren’t maintained often. Our brown stone (transformation) should be used for reshaping the blade — if an instrument hasn’t frequently been maintained enough or has gotten a lot of use, you may need to use the transformation stone more often.

Honing an instrument is more about maintaining the edge and less about removing metal. Think of a kitchen knife that dulls after chopping on a hard surface. What happens is the cutting edge folds over and needs to be straightened out with a few passes from a sharpening device. When the cutting edge isn’t straightened out soon enough, it continues to fold over, chip, and break down faster. This is where more time and material is lost to get it back to its proper shape.

Whether an instrument relies on special coatings or sound metallurgical processes, no instrument can stay sharp forever. As you run a sharp edge over a hard surface, the edge will round and wear slightly with each stroke. Over time, those small changes add up, forcing you to apply more pressure to the instrument to get it to cut properly. This gradual wear can be hard to spot, leading to more discomfort for both you and your patient and a higher chance of burnishing calculus.

By creating instruments that not only hold their edge but can also be resharpened, plus a sharpening system that’s easy to use, PDT has designed a system for high-quality instruments that provide real longevity and comfort.

At PDT, we use ceramic sharpening stones because they’re harder, leading to greater longevity. Plus, you don’t have to use oil or water when you’re sharpening with them. By combining durability with convenience, our ceramic stones don’t become a hindrance to maintaining a regular sharpening schedule.

Yes, it can. The Gleason Guide’s™ sharpened bevel is based off the terminal shank, so any scaler, curette, or Gracey can be sharpened effectively with the Gleason Guide™ regardless of manufacturer. Keep in mind that some instruments use coatings to maintain their edge and may not be able to be safely resharpened. Always check a manufacturer’s guidelines before using any sharpening method with these instruments.

The Gleason Guide allows you to sharpen all of your instruments quickly and maintain a consistent edge every time.

Many of the expensive automatic systems still won’t sharpen all instruments effectively. Maintaining the proper edge and angulation is essential for ergonomic scaling that reduces both pain and the chair time required. The Gleason Guide™ uses just 3 simple steps, Stop, Rest & Glide. Place the back of the middle of the blade against the stop, bring the instrument down against the rest and glide.

The periodontal Queen of Hearts™ curette has much longer cutting edges than normal. The best way to sharpen the Queen is to use the straight, outside edge of the Gracey side on the Gleason Guide™ sharpening system, then place the back of the middle of the blade against the guide and glide, pivoting the instrument heel to toe as you glide.


PDT is dedicated to producing the most innovative, superior quality products for the best value. FlipTop™ Cassettes save you time by increasing your efficiency through ease of access and optimize your organization.

We have designed over 18 different cassettes available in several configurations that will hold 5-22 instruments. If these configurations still don’t meet your needs then please refer to our customization menu in our FlipTop™ Cassette Catalog. There is an additional 20% on total price for customization. Additional clips may cost less. Please contact our customer care team for more details on special orders.

PDT’s FlipTop™ Cassettes have fewer moving parts with more durability. The single-piece constructed FlipTop™ is made with the highest quality, passivated, surgical grade stainless steel and a unique Teflon double hinge that flips up, over, and under for a much smaller footprint. All our cassettes feature an easy push button locking latch and open flow-through design. All are 100% made in the USA and come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.


Yes, but please refer to our sterilization procedures.Don’t exceed 350 degrees Farenheit and there are certain types of chemicals like phenols that you should not use.

Contact our customer care department right away at 800-240-9895 so they can issue a return authorization number.

Be sure to sterilize and securely package any returns, banding instruments and double boxing them. Ensuring that all of our products meet the highest quality standards is a top priority for PDT. Our quality control department is excellent for solving problems and coming up with solutions. It is also important for us to identify any potential defects or procedures that may need revision.


Yes. PDT uses a higher quality, 440A grade stainless steel. Type 440A is a higher grade of cutlery steel with more carbon, allowing for much better edge retention when properly heat-treated.

Over the years, PDT has developed a proprietary process and a unique heat treat and cryogenics formula to improve the quality of our steel tips further, which have a uniform molecular grain structure. Our instruments average a Rockwell C hardness of 59.

What does that mean for you? Sharper, harder, thinner blades that last longer and require much less sharpening.

A clinician could apply up to 4 lbs of pressure while scaling and root planing. However, that much force shouldn’t be needed most of the time or when sharpening — excessive force tends to dull or misshapen instruments.

PDT instruments undergo a special heat treatment process, ensuring a stronger tip. PDT instruments can withstand 15 to 20 lbs of applied pressure. Most other dental instruments can only withstand 6 to 8 lbs of pressure. Instrument tips can also weaken significantly as they are sharpened, which should be taken into account by the clinician when selecting their dental instruments.


PDT offers a 60-day GUARANTEE on all instruments. If you purchase an instrument that is not what you expected or there is something wrong with it, send it to PDT with the invoice, and we will exchange it or give you a full refund. MUST BE RETURNED WITHIN 60 DAYS OF PURCHASE WITH INVOICE.

  • PDT scalers and curettes hold their edge longer due to the hardness of the steel and will last longer than most instruments when sharpened correctly. When the working blade has been reduced in size by 30% or more in length or width, the instrument is considered used up; this is regarded as the “lifetime” of an instrument.
  • PDT instruments that have exceeded their life expectancy have been improperly maintained, are chemically contaminated, or are damaged by excessive heat and will not be replaced. Do not expose the resin handles to phenols or excessive heat.
  • Trying to modify or re-tip PDT instruments will void the warranty.
  • If the instrument is over five years old, it will be considered 100% used up, and there will be no replacement.
  • The warranty for Gleason Guide™ is 5 years. For the warranty to be effective on the guides, register your guide purchase within 30 days of purchase here. Improper handling of the guide will void the warranty. Too much pressure placed on the guide with the instrument when sharpening can cause wear on the guide, which will void the warranty.
  • The Warranty on the Diamond Head Ceramic Stone™ and the Transformation Sharpening Stone™ is five years. Improper handling, dropping, or handling the stone roughly can cause breakage or chipping of the stone and will void the warranty. Too much pressure placed on the stone with the instrument when sharpening can cause wear on the stone and will void the warranty.
  • PDT offers a five-year warranty on the FlipTop™ cassettes: At its option, PDT will repair or replace, for five years from the purchase date, any PDT cassette that is defective because of material failure (including corrosion) or workmanship of the cassette shell, internal or moving parts. Damage from misuse, abuse, negligence, or alterations to the cassette void the warranty. The warranty is void if the manufacturer’s processing guidelines for commercial-grade washers or dental automated washer-disinfectors are not followed. For the warranty to be effective on the cassettes, register your cassette purchase within 30 days of purchase here. You can do this online by going to our Product Maintenance Page.

You must send the product back to qualify for any guarantee or warranty. Call PDT customer care, and you will be given a return authorization number. Once we receive the product back with a copy of the original invoice, we can determine the product's age and condition.

The life of an instrument is contingent upon several factors so there isn’t really a definitive answer. Some of the factors that effect the life of an instrument include:

  • The number and type of patients (tenacious calculous build up is also tough on instruments over time)
  • Proper maintenance of the cutting edge, such as regularly using a fine ceramic stone to maintain the proper cutting edge and shape or using a coarse transformation stone incorrectly causing the instrument to break down too fast or become misshapen.

With proper maintenance our instruments will outlast the competition, lasting 2 to 7 times longer than competitor instruments.


Yes. You can contact your PDT representative for samples and other demonstration materials. Need to find your rep? Find them here! If there is not a PDT representative in your area, email customer.care@pdtdental.com

You can order your instruments right here on our website or through your preferred distributor.


PDT’s Amazing Gracey™ Instruments are anatomically and ergonomically correct, designed with both clinician and patient comfort in mind.

PDT Gracey instrument blades are uniquely designed so that the toe of the instrument is increasingly curved toward the tooth surface during instrumentation. This allows for increased adaptation of the instrument’s working surface providing less strokes and increased debris removal during instrumentation. The design of the PDT Gracey prevents added pressure to the operator’s wrist, no rotation of the wrist occurs when adapting the blade to the tooth surface. The curvature of the Gracey toe also prevents tissue distention during instrumentation. Remove more calculus with fewer strokes!

Yes. PDT developed the ACE™ Furcation probes partly because of advances with bone regeneration technologies. Now even some teeth with a class III measurement can be saved. The exising probes did not effectively reach and measure all 22 furcations. Insert probe in the furcation, grade one or class I furcations are recorded if the probe just enters the opening up to first black marking. Grade two or class II are recorded if probe is in the black marking or enters the orifice. The furcation is considered a Grade three or class III if the probe enters the furcation, also referred to as a through and through furcation.


Yes. We have enjoyed rapid growth over the past few years and are always looking for good, qualified people with attention to detail. There are a variety of positions for production, customer service, shipping and sales & marketing that open up at different times. We will keep a copy of your resume on file to review if a position you may be interested becomes available. Send your resume to the attention of PDT Human Resources, 8275 Highway 10 W, Missoula, MT 59808. Please provide references.

Yes. We are constantly creating new materials all the time. Currently we are working to develop more educational focused videos with supporting literature. We also donate Earthcare™ instruments for missions and for a variety of other noteworthy causes to improve overall health and awareness. pleasecontact our marketing departmentto request specific marketing literature.