The Most Common Dental Tools Used by Your Dental Hygienist

April 24, 2023

In April, we celebrate all the hard-working dental hygienists who help us keep our teeth and gums healthy. Dental hygienists are often the unsung heroes of the dental office; they usually do the majority of cleanings during your appointment, and they go through years of training to become proficient at the work they do. The next time you have a dental checkup, be sure to thank your hygienist for all their hard work!

In honor of all the dental hygienists all across the world, American Dental would like to take some time to tell you more about the tools they use to get your teeth squeaky clean. We understand that many people are intimidated by dental tools, so we hope that shedding some light on them will help you feel more at ease during your next dental visit.

Dental Mirror

This instrument consists of a mirror attached to a stainless-steel handle. This tool allows your hygienist to get a better view of those hard-to-reach areas inside your mouth where tartar buildup can occur. Dental mirrors are used for cleanings and they are also used during nearly any dental procedure you can imagine, from fillings to dental surgery.

Dental Scalers

When it comes to removing plaque and tartar from teeth, dental scalers are the right tool for the job. These instruments come in a variety of shapes and orientations intended for use on specific teeth. Some are equipped with a triangular-shaped blade, used for cleaning exposed tooth surfaces. Others have a blade with one rounded side, to clean the areas below the gum line without damaging the gums or delicate root tissue.

Dental Probes

When you have a cavity or other issue, your hygienist will use a dental probe to find out how bad the problem is. For example, a probe can be used to examine a cavity and determine how extensive it may be. Another type of specialized probe, known as a periodontal probe, is used during checkups to measure the depths of the pockets between the teeth and gums. Too much space in this area can mean a patient is at risk of developing gingivitis or periodontal disease.

Water and Air Tools

A hygienist uses a specialized water jet to wash away debris when they are cleaning your teeth. This tool is used in conjunction with a suction tool that removes water and saliva from your mouth so you don’t have to spit as often.

General Dentistry in Chicago, Illinois

If you haven’t been in for a dental checkup recently, you should know that the American Dental Association recommends getting a cleaning every six months. At American Dental, we have 8 locations in the Chicagoland area where you can get checkups and cleaning, as well as a variety of other medical and cosmetic procedures. Click the “Make an Appointment” if you need a cleaning or any other dental services in River West Chicago, and don’t forget to tell your dental hygienist how much you appreciate all the great work they do!

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