The Most Common Dental Tools and How They’re Used

Did you know that we’ve been visiting dentists for around 9,000 years?

Dentistry has come a long way in that time; we no longer believe that tooth worms are the cause of tooth decay, for example!

Dental technology has also changed a lot in that time too, becoming refined over millennia into the tools we find in every dental surgery.

Read on as we take a look at some of the common dental tools your dentist uses. 

Mouth Mirror

We can see the front of our teeth every time we look in the mirror, but seeing the other side of our teeth isn’t so easy.

The same thing is true for your dentist. In order to be able to see the rear side of your teeth, your dentist uses a mouth mirror. This small circular mirror allows your dentist to visually inspect every part of your teeth. 

This is one of the tools most associated with dentists.


Another of the most easily recognized professional dental tools is the probe. 

Probes come in a few different varieties; probably the most common is the sickle probe, but your dentist may also use a periodontal probe or a briault probe too.

A probe, also known as a dental explorer, is a tool with a sharp, angled hook at the end. A dentist will use this instrument to probe around your teeth and gums looking for any potential issues. It can also scrape away plaque and tartar from your teeth.


A scaler is one of the most commonly used dental cleaning tools.

If a probe isn’t enough to scrape away tartar and plaque, then a scaler may be used. This is one of the most important tools in a dentist’s armory; these dental teeth cleaning tools help to remove build-up that has not been removed by brushing. Left uncorrected, this build-up could lead to tooth decay or other problems. 


A burnisher is a dental polishing tool.

It can smooth and polish your teeth or remove any significant scratches. This instrument can also be used to tidy up your teeth after a restoration.

Dental Drill

The last tool on our list is the one that most patients fear the most.

This is the tool used to remove any decayed tooth before a cavity is filled. Many dental drills also spray water which stops the drill from overheating. This is one of the reasons you need to wear a bib at the dentist; you can learn more about how bibs are used here.

You shouldn’t fear the dentist’s drill. With an anesthetic, you’ll feel no pain, and the work done using a drill can save you from highly painful toothache further down the line.

There Are Dental Tools for Every Occasion

These are just some of the common dental tools your dentist will use. There is a wide range of tools designed for performing specific dental work. 

If you want to learn more about the tools your dentist used, why not ask your dentist during your next visit? By learning about the tools and their different jobs you may feel more comfortable when those tools are being used on your teeth.

For more great content, please be sure to check out the rest of the site. 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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