What Are All Those Dental Instruments?

Do you remember the first time you went to the dentist to have your teeth cleaned? Or perhaps your first visit was because of a toothache that required treatment. All those smells and sounds in the dental office were new to you back then. You might still wonder about what those instruments are that you see coming towards your open mouth. Wonder no more — here the most used dental instruments that you will notice.

Mouth Mirror

This tiny mirror is the best way for the dentist to see inside your mouth. Yes, you will be asked to open wide!

Probe

Most hygienists begin your dental cleaning appointment by checking the health of your gums using the probe end of this instrument. The depth of the pocket around each tooth will be measured and recorded.

Explorer

The explorer is curved like a small “c” that helps to find areas of your tooth that might have tiny cracks or broken spots. If the explorer can fit into the tiny groove, then it can be a bacteria trap.

Handpiece

If you need a filling or crown, the dentist will use a high-speed dental hand piece with a diamond burr. This will quickly remove any tooth structure that might be decayed. This has a high-sounding pitch that can bother some patients with sensitive ears. Most offices allow patients to bring their own headphones and listen to music during treatment to increase relaxation.

When the hygienist is polishing your teeth at the end of your cleaning, he or she will use a low-speed hand piece that has a little silicon cup on the end. With some polishing paste, the rotation will shine and smooth your teeth. This sound is a lower pitch and doesn’t bother most patients.

Now you know what some of the dental instruments are called and what their function is. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist or hygienist if you have any questions.…