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Your Guide to Dental Tools

dental toolsWhile dental technology has come a long way in recent decades, dentists still rely on a number of simple yet effective tools to clean and restore teeth. If you feel overwhelmed when sitting in a dentist’s chair while looking over the tray of tools in front of you, below is a brief overview of common tools used in modern dental offices:


The scaler is a handheld pick tool used to loosen and remove plaque and tartar. These substances build up around the gum line and can lead to bad breath and tooth decay. The scaler is usually reserved for use when you have larger areas of plaque formed by bacteria, acids, and sugars. The scaler is also commonly utilized in the treatment of periodontal disease.

Mouth Mirrors

The mouth mirror is used to give your dentist a better view of your back teeth as well as the backside of your front teeth. The mouth mirror is employed during exams, but it is also used while restorative work is being performed to help guide your dentist.

Sickle Probes

The sickle probe looks very similar to the scaler as it has a pick-like metal point on one end. Unlike the scaler, the sickle probe works to check teeth for cavities and weak spots. It is also effective at removing small areas of plaque and tartar.


Syringes in a dental office are used to administer numbing medications prior to dental work. Novocaine was the primary numbing agent used in the past, but newer numbing agents are often used today. While the initial shot is uncomfortable, numbing agents go to work quickly to alleviate pain.

Bite Trays and Bitewings

You may also notice your dentist has different bite trays and similar items laid out during your visit. These are to make molds of your teeth if restorative crowns need to be created. Trays also help to check the alignment of your teeth. Additionally, bitewings are utilized during x-rays to isolate specific teeth for the best image.


Contact Your Local Dallas Dentist to Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about the tools used in modern dentistry, schedule an appointment with a local Dallas dentist at the office of Barry H. Buchanan, DDS. Dr. Buchanan and his team of caring dental professionals are ready to serve you with expert dental care in a comfortable, welcoming environment. To schedule your consultation online with an experienced dentist in Dallas, contact us now.

Content found on this blog is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional judgement, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please speak with a professional if you have concerns about your oral health.