The dental industry can sound like a foreign language with its long list of names and terms of dental orthodontic pin cutter instruments. If interested in pursuing a career in dentistry, or if interested due to an upcoming dental procedure, there are many terms to know.
Names and Terms of Dental Instruments: Examination Instruments

Drills: Used to cut away at tooth and or artificial tooth material.

Probe: Measures gum pocket depths to evaluate the health of the gum tissue.

Dental Mirror: Allows mirror image view of teeth where view might otherwise not be available due to teeth and mouth positioning.

Retractors and Mouth Props: Retractors allow the dentist to pull a portion of the mouth away to better allow access to another area of the mouth, such as a molar. Props keep the mouth open during procedures.

Burs: Smooth away rough edges of teeth.
Names and Terms of Dental Instruments: Restorative Instruments

Pluggers: Generally used in root canal treatments to plug the nerve canal once the nerve is extracted.

Periodontal Scalers: Used to clean and remove items between teeth.

Excavators: Used to eliminate (usually) soft, rotten decay within the mouth.

Curettes: Very similar to scalers but are meant more for gum work.

Burnishers: Helps with the filling of cavities.
Names and Terms of Dental Instruments: Extraction/Surgical Instruments

Chisels: Used most commonly in veterinary dentistry. Also referred to as a “Dental Hoe.”

Dental Forceps: Many different types, similar in look to tongs, they are used primarily for grasping and extracting.

Elevators: Dental elevators are used for many procedures including, separating tooth or bone from membranes, extractions, loosening teeth among many more.
General Dentistry Terms also include:

Pediatric Dentistry: The care of children’s teeth.

Dental Geriatrics: The care of the elderly’s teeth.

Dental Identification: Process by which unique and individual characteristics of a persons teeth are identified for comparison with other individuals.

Used mainly in forensics.

Dental Neglect: Purposefully negligent care of the teeth resulting in overall health issues.

Dental Pathology: Branch of dentistry that deals with disease.

There are numerous dental terms to learn if joining this rewarding industry. The best place to start learning them is by taking a course. This can be done either online or at your nearest community college.

Dentistry is a rewarding and profitable career that has great hours and many benefits. The least of which is connecting one on one with patients and many times, forming long lasting friendships.

Some people suffer from an affliction well known as “Dental Fear.” This phobia reaches many Americans and it is estimated that an entire 50% of the population does not seek out regular dental care. This can result in the above-mentioned term, Dental Neglect, which has real and potentially incredibly hazardous ramifications such as chronically infected gums, the ability to chew and the ability to digest, halitosis among others. This often debilitating phobia can have effects not only on a person’s social life, but work life as well.


By Olivia

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