By Trevor Horne

List Of Common Dental Tools & Their Uses

If you have visited a dental clinic before, you may have seen the large variety of tools a dentist reaches for. However, do you know what tools they use and what specific purposes these tools serve? Read on to find out more about the list of common dental tools and their uses.

Mouth Mirror

The mouth mirror is one of the most commonly used dental tools. It is used to provide indirect vision for the dentists, and can help to retract the cheeks, tongue and lips of the patient. Furthermore, the mouth mirror can also be used to redirect light into the mouth, making it one of the most versatile tools for a dentist. With the mouth mirror, your dentist will be able to check for signs of tooth decay or other visual signs of issues with your teeth. In addition to gaining better visualization, dental professionals can also use mouth mirrors to enable easier access of instrumentation without pinching the lip or impinging on nearby tissues. This is important during an oral examination, as there may be areas in the oral cavity where direct vision is challenging. This means the dentist may have to bend his back which may lead to future postural issues. Indirect vision is usually used to review the anterior maxillary teeth’s lingual surfaces.


If a dentist wants to examine teeth for any signs of decay, they will likely use the explorer, also known as the sickle probe. It has a long handle and a curved shape at the end. They use this tool to check for furcation, calculus, and other signs of abnormalities in your teeth. It is also used to test the hardness of teeth. Essentially, this tool is used to explore the mouth to identify any issues that may bring about bigger problems for the patient. It’s one of the ways dentists used to probe for oral cavities and remove food leftovers that were not removed during tooth brushing. Dentists also use this tool to scrape plaque and tartar from the patient’s teeth. This is important as tartar causes gum inflammation, resulting in loose teeth. When it comes to calculus detection, it is recommended that you select an explorer based on the pocket depth and location. Because the curve and tip length of explorers vary, you might want to choose an option that has a 2mm working end and straight shank so that it can fit in deep narrow pockets with tight tissue.

Cotton Forceps

The cotton forceps is often used to transfer things or materials into or out of the mouth. Usually, this pair of forceps is used to hold onto cotton, but can be used in many other ways as well. For example, you can use cotton forceps to carry (between the forcep's closed beaks) and deposit liquid medication in teeth or areas of the mouth.

Dental Scaler

Dentists usually use the dental scaler to remove large amounts of plaque and tartar from both the gum line and the teeth. Sometimes, dentists will use this tool during regular cleaning. It is important to scale teeth about once every six months to prevent further issues from resulting, such as periodontal disease.

Saliva Ejector

This is a suction device that has a long tube which is attached to a vacuum. The main purpose of this device is to suction the saliva out of the patient’s mouth, which allows the surface of the mouth to remain dry. This makes it easier for the dentist to work. The tool can also be used to suction excess water if water is used by the dentist.

Dental Drill

A dental drill is often used to remove areas of tooth decay before dentists proceed to fill the cavity. Water is also used in conjunction with the drill to keep the tooth cool, while the dental drill spins quickly to remove the decayed area. Although the dental drill has a terrifying sound, there is usually no pain involved if a local anesthetic is administered. It is used for a variety of functions, such as cosmetic dental surgeries, polishing fillings, changing prostheses and eliminating tooth decay.

Find Good Quality Dental Instruments at ProNorth Medical Corporation

If you are on the lookout for good quality dental instruments to stock your dental facility with, look no further than ProNorth Medical Corporation. You will be able to find a large range of dental instruments and supplies at our store at the most competitive rates. Feel free to contact us to find out more about what we have to offer today!