The Most Essential Dentistry Tools Used Today

Learn about six essential dentistry tools used today: dental drill, mouth mirror, sickle cell catheter, scraper, ultrasonic scraper and molds.

The Most Essential Dentistry Tools Used Today

Dentistry has come a long way since its inception, and today, there are a variety of instruments used to diagnose and treat oral health issues. From dental drills to mouth mirrors, each tool has its own purpose and is essential for providing quality care. Let's take a look at the six most commonly used dental tools that are essential for providing quality care.

Dental Drill


A dental drill is an effective way to remove cavities and is probably the most dreaded instrument. However, it is an important tool for providing quality care. It is used to remove decay from the tooth and can also be used to shape the tooth for restorations.

Mouth Mirror


The mouth mirror is one of the least intimidating tools and helps dentists to better understand the oral cavity. It also serves as a tool to gently move the tissues of the mouth or tongue so that they can be seen more clearly. It allows dentists to have a good view of the inside of the mouth including the back of the teeth from all angles, which helps them locate any potential problems more easily.

Sickle Cell Catheter

. Also known as a dental explorer, the sickle cell catheter is a metal rod with a thin, curved hook.

It is used to detect oral problems such as tooth decay and can also be used to scrape tartar and plaque between the teeth. Dentists use this probe to analyze the surface of the teeth to determine their hardness.


. A scraper is used to treat oral problems such as plaque buildup, periodontal disease, and other forms of buildup that can't be scraped off with a probe. It can access areas that a toothbrush can't reach for deeper cleaning.

Double-sided tools are also used which have hooked ends on one side and square ends on the other for entering hard-to-reach areas and eliminating build-up.

Ultrasonic Scraper

. Ultrasonic scrapers are an alternative to manual dental scrapers and use vibratory energy instead of scraping. They are used to break up accumulated plaque and tartar and remove them quickly and with less discomfort.


. Dentists often need impressions of the teeth for dental procedures such as placing crowns.

Molds are small, fluid-filled frames that harden over time and form the perfect outline of your teeth. Although mold can leave a bitter taste in your mouth, it's worth it for the accuracy it provides. During a typical dental cleaning procedure, several dental instruments are used, such as a mouth mirror, a scraper, and brushing and polishing tools. Your dentist will use a dental drill to remove cavities, followed by a suction device to remove water and debris. Once the tooth is clean, it is filled with composite resin which takes the form of a cavity over time.

The resin is applied in layers where UV light is used to harden it after each layer is applied. The sickle cell catheter, also known as a dental explorer, is used to determine the amount of enamel, plaque and tartar on the tooth as well as its hardness. Periodontal probes look very similar but have blunt ends which measure the amount of space between gum tissue and the dental signs of gum disease. From drills to molds, every tool has its purpose in dentistry. While some may be more intimidating than others, they all play an important role in providing quality care. Understanding what each tool does will help you feel more comfortable during your next visit.