Know what your dentist is using
are the tools of the trade for dentists who use them to provide dental treatments
. They can serve multiple purposes, like examining, manipulating, removing or restoring teeth. Some items, like the dental mirror
or the dental explorer
(the sickle) have long been associated with dentists in the mind of every patient. But other dental instruments are also very useful.
The types of dental instruments and their functions are more important for the dentist than for the patient. However, it is best to know exactly what your dentists uses, as this might help deal with unnecessary anxiety.
Dental instruments used for examination
The dental mirror is a small angled mirror that helps the dentist see areas of the tooth that cannot be visible otherwise, such as the back of the teeth. They can sometimes be used to reflect light and increase visibility.
The dental explorer
, or the sickle probe, is a slim dental instrument with an angled hook at the end. Dentists use this tool to examine the surface of the teeth: by gently tapping onto the surface they can find out if certain areas of the tooth are weakened, they are more exposed to plaque or if there is any sign of tooth decay
. For some procedures, the periodontal probe
is used to measure the depth of the pockets between the gum and the teeth.
Dental instruments used for various procedures
The dental drill
is perhaps the one dental instrument that can install the most fear
. They are used to cut into tooth enamel to remove tooth decay or can be used to repair chips or smoothing teeth. Dental burnishes, small rotating tools, are also used for dental restorations or smoothing teeth as part of cosmetic procedures
are used to perform various tasks like cutting into teeth or removing decayed parts of a tooth. For dental extractions
, dentists can use dental forceps to tool the teeth. Cotton pliers are used to handle small pieces of material or cotton. To gain better access to the teeth, the dentist can use dental retractors which can be used for the cheek, tongue or lip – to help the dentist get better access to the teeth.
More demanding dental procedures, like surgical procedures
, will require the use of a dental syringe (not the same as a normal one) to anesthetize the patient
and the use of various types of scalpels
to cut or make incisions.