Sometimes visiting the dentist strikes fear in patients, especially when they see the tray of tools and equipment next to the chair. Avoiding dental visits is not a smart option, because checkups are a vital part of maintaining a healthy mouth. Knowing the names and purposes for some of the common dentistry tools may put your mind at ease during your next dentist appointment.
The drill is what comes to mind first when most people think of the dentist’s office. Although it may make an intimidating noise, the drill’s ability to get rid of decay and reshape the teeth is an important part of dentistry.
Similar to a drill bit, the bur fits into the drill and is used to perform the work on the teeth.
Available in various sizes and shapes, the excavator is used to examine cavities, eliminate decay, and look for overhangs.
Especially useful when working on children’s teeth, mouth props help keep the mouth open during dental procedures. It is made of rubber, shaped like a wedge, and offered in varying sizes to fit different mouth requirements.
The mirror allows dentists to get a good look of each tooth from every angle, making it easier to locate cavities and other problems.
One of the tools that generates fear in patients is the probe, which looks like a metal hook. Probes are used to check for cavities and other tooth and gum problems.
The curved tube that works like a vacuum to suck saliva out of a patient’s mouth during procedures is called a saliva ejector. Saliva can build up when the mouth is open for extended time periods, so this is a helpful way to keep the mouth dry.
Used to identify underlying oral health problems that may not be evident just by examining the mouth, dental X-rays are used to provide a deeper view.