working ends of curettes form a spoon-shaped face and
a rounded back. In a cross-section, the curette blade
appears semicircular rather than triangular (shape of
the sickle scaler). Two basic types of curettes are the
universal and the area specific.
curette is a paired instrument designed to adapt to most
areas of the dentition by altering and adapting the
finger rest, fulcrum, and hand position. Two parallel
cutting edges are formed, one on either side of the face.
Either cutting edge can be used. Universal instruments
come in a variety of sizes and shank lengths. Some
commonly used instruments are the Columbia #13/14
and the McCalls #13/14 and #17/18. The Columbia
#13/14 has a true universal application, whereas the
McCalls has two cutting edges on each blade that are
better suited to certain areas of the mouth. The McCalls
#13/14 are best suited for use on bicuspids and the
#17/18 for molars (fig. 6-9).
AREA SPECIFIC.Area specific curettes differ
from the universal curettes in several ways. First, they
are a set of several instruments designed and angled to
adapt to a specific anatomic area of the dentition.
Second, these curettes are designed with only one
cutting edge. Area specific curettes are the best choice
for subgingival scaling and root planing because they
provide the best adaptation to the complex root
each Gracey is used on the tooth surface being scaled
The Gracey curettes are paired, area-specific
instruments, that have similar blades with different
angulations and contra-angulations of the shank.
Figure 6-10 illustrates the complete set of
double-ended Graceys. Next we will discuss where
Figure 6-9.McCalls curettes.
or root planed.
Figure 6-10.Gracey area specific curette set.