In some cases, the dental hygienist can request, when ordering new instruments, that the tip be thinned on many of the scalers and curettes. This is something that can be discussed with the distributor to find out if this option is available. In addition, many instrument companies will offer standard, After Five, Mini After Five and micro versions of their scalers and curettes. They also offer extended shanks in most of these versions which feature the 3mm extended shanks and 10% thinner blades.
A new series of area specific curettes (Maintenance Curettes) (Figure 60) have also been developed. Often, after periodontal surgery, patients return for recall maintenance with tighter gingiva, but also may have residual pocket depths or recession. These curettes have a terminal shank honed to a 60º angle instead of the traditional 70º Gracey curette angle. These instruments have shorter, thinner blades than the standard Gracey but also are longer than the mini Gracey. They also have a modified, rigid shank that is 2mm longer than the standard Gracey. They are made for ease of insertion in areas of tight tissue and attachment loss.5