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The Tools Your Dentist May Use

A trip to the dentist can be a harrowing experience, even if you don’t suffer from dentophobia. Knowing more about what you’re going to see and experience while you’re there can help even a seasoned patron of dentistry. If you’re heading back to the dentist for the first time in a while, or want to know more about what kind of equipment you’re going to encounter and what it’s for, read on. Below we’ll cover some of the most common tools your dentist will have on hand and may use during your visit.

Mouth Mirror

This is one of the least intimidating things your dentist has in their toolkit. The mouth mirror is the ubiquitous mirror on a stick that your dentist uses to get a look at parts of your oral cavity not easily visible otherwise.

Saliva Ejector

One of the natural responses of your mouth is to salivate when something is put in it. This can make dental work a very messy prospect indeed, and saliva also can obscure the dentist’s ability to see where they’re working. This is where the saliva ejector comes in, siphoning away the saliva your body produces to make the work go smoothly.


Tartar and plaque that has built up on your teeth need to be removed to prevent decay. Immediately after telling you not to put anything sharp or metal in your mouth, your dentist will produce the scaler. The scaler is a sharp metal implement that cleans away the tartar and plaque that has built up on your teeth. A task best left to the professionals.


There is a particular high-pitched whine that no dental patient likes to hear, and that whine comes from a dental drill in use. While the sound may be intimidating, analgesics are used to make the process painless. The drill is essential in removing deep-rooted decay and retaining the remaining healthy teeth in your mouth.

Cotton Pliers

These are really just long-handled tweezers with a different name. The bend and tapered points ensure that cotton can be placed and removed within a patient’s mouth with incredible precision. Cotton is used to control bleeding after a procedure, and to absorb saliva while the dentist is working.

Spoon Excavator

This device serves many purposes and is simply a long piece of metal with a scoop on one end. It is used to remove points of decay, to debride the tooth, and a myriad of other tasks, including shaping resin used in dental repair.

These devices are just a few of the many that your dentist may use during your visit. Dr. Scott Simpson from Appletree Dentistry in Tigard, OR, has been helping patients be more comfortable with their visits by explaining the use of these tools. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of either the dentist or the hygienist during your visit. Call today to schedule an appointment and ensure that you have a great dental year ahead!

Dr. Scott T. Simpson At AppleTree Dentistry, Dr. Scott T Simpson set out to create a caring environment focused on dentistry for families. Dr. Simpson graduated from the University of Florida College of Dentistry in 2005, going on to practice as a dentist in the USAF for three years before being honorably discharged.
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