Do you ever wonder what all those instruments are on the dental tray? What are they for and what do they do with them while working in your mouth? Some tools are specific to certain branches of dentistry but others are basic dental instruments found in every dentist’s office. Today your Des Moines Dentist, Dr. Stephen Burds explains some of the most common dental tools and their uses.
Dental Mirrors: If you have been to the dentist you have seen a dental mirror. It is round in shape, miniature in size, and is hand-held. It fits inside your mouth and can be turned to a variety of angles. It is designed to provide an indirect vision, while reflecting light and magnifying the mouth’s interior. Some dentists may use double-sided mirrors, but the single-sided seems the most common. Today disposable mirrors are available.
The Sickle: The dental sickle–also called the contra-angled probe, scaler, or explorer–is used to find cavities, scrape and remove tartar, locate pits and fissures in teeth, and detect defects in crowns and bridges. It can detect breaks in the enamel.
Briault Probe: The briault probe is used on the mesial and distal surfaces (the sides of your teeth as opposed to the front and back) to identify cavities by detecting breaks in the enamel.
College Tweezers: College tweezers are tweezers that you may have seen the dentist use to place and remove cotton balls during treatment.
There are several tools that help form the walls of the cavity during filling preparation and they are called the hoe, binangle, wedelstaedt, straight chisel, and hatchet.
Most of the above listed dental instruments are made of stainless steel, making them long-lasting, durable, and easy to sterilize with textured handles so as not to slip out of the dentist’s hand.