A lot of people experience nervousness, fear or anxiety before visiting the dentist, including children. We believe that these emotions can often be attributed to venturing into the unknown; when we are unfamiliar with a place or a space and most everything within its walls, then we tend to rightfully endure this type of tense energy.
In an effort to establish a more positive association with your dental office, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common dental instruments that we use during cleanings and exams so that you’re properly armed with the knowledge & education you deserve before your visit:
Its name is easy to remember because it’s literally a mirror that goes inside your mouth! This reflective little tool helps us to see the inside of the mouth more clearly. It’s a device designed to provide indirect vision; as well as to retract the lips, cheeks, and tongue. It can also function to redirect light into the mouth.
Sickle Probes or “Explorers”
We know that this tool can be a bit anxiety-inducing because of its sharp, sickle-shaped ends, but it’s a very important instrument. Sickle probes, also known as “explorers” because of their function in the mouth, examine the surfaces of our teeth for decay, calculus (tartar), furcations (bone loss) and other abnormalities.
Oral Scalers or Ultrasonic Scalers
If you do not maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine and refrain from brushing and flossing regularly or effectively, then tartar can develop along the gumline and between teeth. When tartar builds up, it can lead to gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. We are trained to identify and remove tartar before it causes permanent damage to the teeth. By carefully scraping using an oral scaler, which has a hooked end like the sickle probe, we aim to eradicate problematic tartar.
Air Water Syringe
This tool probably sounds familiar because of its name and because patients often see and feel it during regular dentist visits. The syringe releases air and water, and it’s referred to as a syringe because of how it injects water or air.
Can you guess where this instrument gets its name? The saliva ejector is used to remove excess saliva or water from the oral cavity during dental procedures. Another tool that most people are familiar with from regular dentist visits, it’s the instrument that sounds like a vacuum and works to clear debris. While we’re working on your mouth, saliva often builds up, so we also employ the use of this device to suck out or eject the saliva from the mouth.
Have questions about other dental instruments you’ve encountered during your dental office visits? We’re all ears! Feel free to contact us for any reason before or after your dental visit!