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1. The Basic Examination and Anesthetic Instruments


Dr. G. V. Black classified instruments according to ORDER names, SUBORDER names, CLASS names, and SUBCLASS names. Order names denote the purpose for which the instrument is to be used, such as mallet or clamps.

Suborder names define the manner or position of use of the instrument, such as hand mallet or molar clamps.

Class names describe the working point of the instrument, such as spoon excavator or inverted cone bur.

Subclass names indicate the angle of the shank, such as bin-angle.

Dr. Black also evolved the instrument formula by which instruments could be readily duplicated anywhere. For example, the number of a gingival margin trimmer is given as 15-95-8-12R. The first two digits (15) of the formula designate the width of the blade in tenths of a millimeter, the third and fourth digits (95) its length in millimeters, and the fifth digit (8) represents the angle which the blade forms with axis of the handle expressed in hundredths of a circle (100 gradations or centigrades). With the instruments in which the cutting edge is at an angle to the length of the blade, the sixth and seventh digits represent the angle made by the edge with the axis of the hand, expressed in centigrades. The handle letter (R or L) signifies that the instrument is one of a pair made in "rights" and "lefts" in order to work more efficiently.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015