Does the thought of a trip to the dentist give you anxiety? You are not alone. Yet it might help to understand the different dental tools that you are likely to encounter in the dentist office and what they do. Some are just simple hand implements, while others are motorized equipment that require dental O rings and gaskets. In either case, each has an important role to play in assessing and preserving your dental health.
1. Dental Drill
A dental drill sprays water into your mouth as it spins. This is to prevent it from becoming too hot. With a speed of 250,000 revolutions per minute, it can otherwise create a lot of friction. Before using a dental drill, a dentist administers a local anesthetic to numb the area and prevent it from becoming painful. However, it can cause some discomfort due to the vibrations it can cause in your mouth and the noise it makes.
2. Suction Device
Also known as a saliva ejector, this device is vacuum powered to remove any fluids from your mouth to give the dentist a dry surface to work with. For the device to work more effectively, you may sometimes have to close your mouth around it. However, wait to do this until you receive the instruction to do so.
3. Mouth Mirror
The mouth mirror is more or less exactly what it sounds like, a little round mirror on a stick. It serves a dual purpose of allowing the dentist to move your cheek or tongue out of the way and visualize remote structures in the mouth more easily.
4. Sickle Probe
The sickle probe is a very narrow, curved hand tool. It is used to scrape away plaque and tartar on the teeth. It also helps the dentist to discover signs of periodontal disease or cavities.
A scaler is similar to a sickle probe. However, it is used when the buildup is more significant.