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Tools Found at the Dentist

Dentists use a large verity of instruments and tools when doing examinations and performing work on your teeth. Have you ever been sitting there in the chair and wondered what some of these dental tools are used for? Well here is your inside look at the tool belt of a dentist.


The Sickle Probe

This is the tool you are probably most familiar with. It is a metal rod with a curved wire on the end. The dentist and hygienists use it to test the amount of plaque buildup there is on your teeth. They will also check the hardness of your teeth and the enamel. If the dentist is touching your teeth with something metal, this is probably what it is. There are variations of this tool, one which is called a periodontal probe. It looks similar, but is used to check the space between your teeth and gums. This is what they use to check for signs of gum disease.


The Drill

This is often the tool that patients are most fearful of, but is one of the most important tools at the dentist office. The drill has many different uses such as smoothing teeth, filling cavities, repairing chips, etc. Don’t let the sound of it get to you, as it is a useful tool that allows the dentist to help you.



This is a simple tool, but important. Dental pliers have tongs that are at an angle so that dentists can put small items or cotton into your mouth. This is much easier and more accurate than using fingers.


The Light

This is one of the most important tools that hygienists and dentists use. The light helps them see clearly into your mouth. There is also the blue light, which actually helps the material used in tooth repairs to harden.


Saliva Ejector

I’m sure everyone remembers this instrument. This is used to remove liquid from your mouth, which is especially important when you’re lying back in a chair. The tool has a disposable head that is replaced with each patient and provides a low amount of suction. Some patients enjoy using this tool.


There are many more tools that a dentist and the rest of the team use, but these are some of the most common tools you may see the next time you are at the dentist. Hopefully this will peak your interest and take some of the mystery away from what all of those metal tools are for.