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Tools of the Dental Trade

Tools Used Within Our Mission Viejo Dental Office


At first sight, the tools that your dentist uses can appear downright scary. There are whirring drills, noisy suction tubes and other pointy objects that are hard to even describe. For some people, these “scary” looking tools can even part of the reason why they fear going to the dentist. 
The good news is that by knowing which tools your dentist uses, as well as what each one is used for, your mind will be less anxious the next time you visit our Mission Viejo dental office.
Below, we’ll go over some of the most common dental tools used by dentists. 

Mouth Mirror

The mouth mirror is likely the tool that dentists use the most. While its name is rather self-explanatory, the mouth mirror has two purposes. Firstly, it allows your dentist to see into areas that are otherwise hidden. And secondly, dentists use it to help push your tongue out of the way without using their fingers.

Suction Device

To properly examine your mouth, your dentist will sometimes need to keep the area dry. For this, they will use a suction device, otherwise known as a saliva ejector. This instrument is basically a flexible tube attached to a vacuum and is used to remove saliva or any other liquid from your mouth. 

Sickle Probe

This tool, also referred to as a dental explorer, consists of a metal handle terminated by a sharp hook. Your dentist uses the hook to poke and probe areas in between teeth and helps them find signs of tooth decay or gum disease. Sickle probes are also used to scrape away plaque and tartar buildup.


Scalers are like the sickle probe; however, they are used when there is a larger amount of plaque buildup. Typically, scalers are used on patients with more advanced gum disease. When your dentist uses a scaler, you might feel some slight discomfort. Still, it’s a necessary tool for preventing tooth decay.


This instrument is a small drill that rotate extremely quickly and administers water to keep the drill bit cool. The dental drill may make a lot a noise and sound scary, however, it is a necessary tool and you should not feel any pain or discomfort while your dentist is drilling your teeth. Dental drills are used to remove tooth decay before getting a filling.

Dental Syringe

Dental syringes are used to administer a local anesthetic to a certain area of in your mouth. They are usually slightly longer than traditional needles or syringes, which helps your dentist be able to maneuver the needle to the correct spot in your mouth. The initial injection may cause a slight amount of pressure or pain; however, this should quickly subside as the anesthetics takes effect.

Contact Your Dentist in Mission Viejo Today!

Monday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Friday: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday: Closed

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