Dental Instruments and their Uses

During your visit to the dental clinic, you may observe many instruments that the dentist uses. These instruments may look scary, but they benefit you and the dentist. The dentist uses various instruments to make his work easier. If you want to know the different types of dental instruments and what they are used for, this post is just for you! Here, we will be showing you various dental instruments and their uses.

Before we proceed, let’s briefly explain what dental instruments are.

What are Dental Instruments?

Dental instruments are the various tools and equipment used by dental professionals such as dentists, dental nurses, etc., for treating dental issues, including tooth removal, orthodontics, and scaling. Dental instruments come in various forms. For instance, you can hold some by hand, and some are ultrasonic equipment. Note that these tools are not for home use and should be used by dental professionals only.

Examples of Dental Instruments and their Uses

1. Dental mirror: Just like a standard mirror, a dental mirror is used for visual purposes. It is also used to direct light inside the mouth and magnifies even the smallest cavity so the dentist would not miss it.

2. Dental Probes: These can be sickle probes or periodontal probes. They are used to detect problems in the mouth. Sickle probes are used to find cavities, and periodontal probes are used to measure the depth of the periodontal pocket to determine the periodontium’s health.

3. Scaler: It is a tool used to remove tartar or plaque buildup from the teeth. Ultrasonic scalers use vibration to clear tartar that a dental brush or probe can’t remove.

4. Cotton forceps: This type of scissors is primarily used to grip cotton and move it around the mouth.

5. Extracting forceps: This type of scissors is used to remove teeth.

6. Dental tray: It stores dental tools and instruments.

7. Face mask: It is used to protect the face while the dental procedure is ongoing.

8. Gloves: These protect the hands while dental procedures are ongoing.

9. Cotton wool is used for cleaning fluid while the dental procedure is ongoing.

10. Dental tweezers: It is used for picking cotton wool during dental treatment.

11. Scalpel holder: It holds the scalpel blade during dental surgery.

12. Mixing spatula: It is used to mix dental materials.

13. Plaster knife: It is useful for plaster work during dental procedures.

14. Wax knife: It is useful for wax works during the dental procedure.

15. Dental syringe: The dentist uses it to inject anaesthesia into the mouth.

16. Dental elevators: It is used for teeth extraction.

17. Air water syringe: The dentist uses this to introduce air and water to the patient’s mouth for various reasons.

18. Saliva ejector: It is used to suck out saliva from the patient’s mouth during the dental process.

19. Ultrasonic dental cleaner: It is an advanced version of a scaler. It uses water and vibrations to break up tartar buildup faster and efficiently.

20. Dental drill: It is used to remove a decayed tooth. It may cause a little pain, so dentists may administer anaesthesia to reduce the pain.

21. Suction device: It is used to suck up all the debris during the dental procedure.

22. Cheek Retractor: It separates tissues so that the area that needs attention can be viewed properly.

23. Lip retractor: It keeps the lips out of the way allowing the dentist to work on your teeth properly.

24. Tongue retractor: It keeps the tongue out of the way allowing the dentist to work on your teeth and mouth properly.

25. Dental laser is a type of laser used during a dental surgical procedure.

26. Spoon excavator: It is used to remove soft decayed tissues.

27. Reamers: It is used to enlarge the teeth canal.

28. Dental chisels: They scrape and shape the bone.

29. Ruler Guage: It is used for measurement purposes.

30. Adam’s pliers: These are used to join wires together during dental procedures, e.g., orthodontics.

31. Surgical blade: The dentist uses this for cutting.

32. X-ray view: It is used for teeth x-ray.

33. Dental scissors: It is used for cutting materials and wires during dental procedures.

34. Lead coat: The dentist uses this to protect the teeth during an x-ray.

35. Mixing bowl: It is helpful for combining dental materials.

36. Bristle brush: It is used for brushing the teeth during the scaling and polishing process.

37. Probe moon: It is used for discovering loose bones and roots in the sockets.

38. Mortar and pestle: The dentist uses this to mix amalgam.

39. Dental chair: It is used by the patient to sit during a dental procedure.

40. Shade guide: The dentist uses this to select the right teeth colour.

41. Film hanger: The dentist uses this to hang films obtained from x-rays.

42. Measurement paper point: It is used to dry the root canal.

43. Autoclave: It is used to sterilise dental tools after use.

44. Osteotomy: It is similar to a chisel and is used for cutting.

45. K-files: They are used for endodontic treatment. The shape and clean the canal.

46. Bone file: It is used for filing and smoothening the bone.

47. Amalgam carrier: It is used for moving amalgam to the required area.

48. File: It is used to enlarge the root canal.

49. Condenser: It is used for condensing dental materials.

50. Glass slab: It is useful for mixing dental materials.


The dentist makes use of several tools during the dental process. Some of these tools and their uses have been highlighted above. As earlier stated, these tools are not for home use or DIYs. They are for professional use only and should be used in the dental clinic.

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