A Comparison of Efficiency and Material Wear of Diamond-Plated versus Ceramic Sharpening Stones

Heather M Hessheimer, Jeffrey B Payne, Laura E. Shaw, Erica M. Spanyers, Mark W Beatty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare sharpening efficiency and metal (carbon steel) removal from scalers using two types of synthetic sharpening stones: ceramic and diamond-plated. Previous research used scanning electron microscopy alone to measure instrument sharpness. Additionally, no research has been reported on the use of diamond-plated sharpening stones.Methods: Fifteen threaded, double-ended H6/H7 scalers were randomly divided into three groups of ten: control, ceramic stone, and diamond-plated stone. All cutting edges were dulled by scaling the surfaces of extracted molars. The cutting edges were then sharpened by a blinded examiner with the assigned stone until optimal sharpness was achieved using a test stick between sharpening strokes. The number of strokes needed to reach sharpness for each cutting edge was recorded. Four hundred sharpening strokes were then applied on each end using the assigned stone. The scaler ends were weighed before and after sharpening to determine amount of material loss in milligrams. Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA followed by a Tukey-Kramer post-hoc test.Results: The diamond-plated sharpening stone removed significantly more metal (7.62 mg +/-0.38) than the ceramic stone (0.69 mg +/-0.06) (p<0.001), while there was no significant difference between the ceramic sharpening stone and the control. There was no significant difference between diamond-plated and ceramic stones in the number of strokes needed to sharpen scalers.Conclusion: While a similar number of strokes was needed to sharpen scalers with the diamond-plated or ceramic stone, the diamond-plated stone removed nearly 7 mg more metal than the ceramic stone using a standardized number of sharpening strokes, suggesting greater scaler longevity when using a ceramic sharpening stone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-67
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of dental hygiene : JDH
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • ceramic sharpening stones
  • diamond plated sharpening stones
  • instrument wear
  • periodontal instrumentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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