Dental Tools of the Trade

Dental Tools of the Trade

September 20, 2021

Many patients are nervous when they sit down in a dental chair and look at the tools lying on the tray. However, there is no need to fear these tools in the hands of a skilled dentist, especially once you know what role they play in keeping your teeth healthy.

Dental Examination Tools

Dentists have many hand tools and machines that they work with to diagnose and treat the problems with your teeth, gums, and mouth. However, they use some tools every time you visit them, which are their examination tools. Here are the tools they work with to find cavities, damage, and other issues inside of your mouth.

Mouth Mirror

To view every all your teeth, our dentist in Houston starts their examination with a mouth mirror. The mirror has a small, round, angled head on a metal handle. Your dentist uses it to view your teeth and mouth to look for problems. It also helps them see the back of the tongue and mouth.

Intraoral Camera

When a dentist is cannot clearly see into the mouth, they use an intraoral camera. The intraoral camera is a small handheld tool that allows them to see and take clear images of your teeth and soft tissues. Getting a clear view of your mouth helps diagnose decay, gum disease, or fractures of a tooth.

Sickle Probe

There are several probes that dentists use to check their patients’ teeth. This one is bent on one end and comes to a sharp-looking point. Its primary use is to find and explore cavities, plaque, and tartar.

Periodontal Probe

This tooth probe has a blunt end used for measuring the depth of gum pockets if they exist. The depth helps them determine what stage of gum disease that you have.


While cleaning your teeth, the dentist uses a scaler to remove tartar on your teeth. Tartar does not brush away like plaque because it hardens on tooth enamel. When the dentist finds it, they must use the sharp ends of the scaler to remove it.

These hand tools, along with others, help your dentist keep your teeth clean and help them find cavities or damaged teeth so they can treat them. However, your most important tools are your toothbrush and floss, which help maintain a healthy smile.