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Dental Instruments All Dentists Used & Cleaned

banner with doctor with patient with mouth mirror in mouth

Dental Instruments All Dentists Used & Cleaned

Have you ever wondered – how many tools do dentists have? The exact number is hard to come by. But there are many different tools available for dentists, each with a use of their own. These tools are mainly categorised by their function, such as if they examine, manipulate, treat, restore, or remove teeth and their surrounding oral structures. The first lesson that a dentist learns is not to call their “instruments” tools. Everything that a dentist uses is called an Instrument. A lot of people are scared of, or even avoid going to the dentist, because of these instruments. Doing so will make you know what to expect, and help you feel more prepared for your dental visits.

Common List of Dental Instruments Used

I will list the most common dental instruments for you below.

mouth mirror using in mouth 1. Mouth Mirror

A mouth mirror is one of the most popular dental instruments in Australia. It consists of a little mirror attached to a metal stick. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s important – it has a number of uses. Firstly, it lets the dentist see areas of your mouth that would otherwise be hard to reach, such as the back of your molars and the inside of the top teeth. So, the mirror makes it easier for them to find tooth decay or other possible dental problems that may have gone unnoticed. Furthermore, it can light up the mouth, as the mirror reflects the light. This assists with the examination. The mirror also allows the dentist to move your tongue or push the inside of your cheek aside, without having to use their fingers.


doctor using scaler in mouth of patient 2. Sickle Probe (also called the “Dental Explorer”)

Called a sickle probe in Australia as it is shaped like a sickle that is used to gather hay or grain in a field – that is, a long handle with a sharp hook on the end. This may look scary and old-fashioned, but it’s helpful for finding symptoms of cavities or gum disease, so you‘ll find it in almost every dental clinic, in various lengths and thicknesses. It’s mainly used to inspect the pockets between teeth, check the surface for defects or plaque, while at the same time scraping off tartar and plaque. Your dentist may also use the sharp tip to examine any visible cavities. All in all, it’s an instrument that is essential for preventative dentistry. If the probe sticks in any nooks or crannies that is a sure sign of decay present. So if the dentist scrapes the probe over the tooth surface it is because the dentist is looking to see if the probe gets caught in any cavities.

mouth mirror and scaler in mouth 3. Scaler

While the sickle probe effectively removes small areas of plaque and tartar. A scaler is necessary to eradicate a larger build-up. As you come to the dentist in Australia for a clean then the scaler is used to scrape soft and hard plaque build-up from the teeth and under the gums. If the hardened plaque has stuck to the teeth under the gums then the sharp point of the scaler is used to dig up any hardened plaque stuck to the tooth surface. Most patients undergo some form of plaque build-up, from what they eat or drink, and the bacteria that sticks to their teeth. A scaler helps with scraping this additional plaque. It’s not exactly comfortable, but careful scraping using a scaler in Australia, which has a hook on the end like a sickle probe, will stop your teeth from decaying and keep your gum healthy and connected to the tooth root.   


mouth mirror and syringe in mouth 4. Dental Syringe

On that note, the dental syringe is what gives your mouth the numbing sensation from the anaesthetic. A dental syringe is a bit longer than your usual needle or syringe, so the dentist can be sure to hit the right spot when they administer the anaesthetic. It is merely a delivery system. You may initially feel a bit of discomfort from the syringe, but it doesn’t take long for this to numb. Many dentists in Australia will also apply a topical anaesthetic before they use the syringe, to reduce any pain felt by the prick of the anaesthetic. Either way, if you picture an ice cube in your mouth. This picture will lessen your anxiety about the numbness, especially with children. Having a picture in your mind which is non-threatening makes the procedure more comfortable.

mouth mirror in mouth with drill machine 5. Dental Drill

This is probably the dental tool most patients are afraid of. This is mainly because of the high pitch noise or the vibration of the slow speed. But it’s important, as it is the most effective way a dentist can remove decay from a tooth before filling a cavity. The high-speed drill spins at over 250,000rpm while it shoots water into your mouth. You may feel uncomfortable due to the water coolant or as it vibrates on your teeth. But generally, it doesn’t hurt, as you will get a local anaesthetic beforehand. Knowing what to expect and knowing that you can control and stop the procedure at any time can help a patient to feel at ease. The sense of “loss of control” can be overwhelming. This is important to discuss in Australia with the dentist beforehand and knowing that your dentist. Will stop at your request is important to feel at ease during the procedure.

How Are Dental Instruments cleaned and Sterilized?

Along with all other medical practices, a dental clinic in Australia must strictly comply with the standard cleanliness criteria. Essentially, sterilization in dentistry comprises traditional practices and policies. In order to keep all dental instruments clean and free from spreading any potential infections. So, how exactly is this done? Firstly, in dentistry, sterilization involves a lot more than washing and cleaning. All dentists, dental hygienists, and staff assistants, as part of their ongoing professional practice, are obligated to undertake compulsory training for dental sterilization. Now, the practice of sterilisation itself involves assorted functions, predominantly concerning preventing and controlling the infection.

doctor sterilizing dental instruments in sterilization machine

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