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Common Dental Tools Explained

October 09, 2022
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Undoubtedly, sitting on a dentist’s chair with a tray full of tools can be scary. Knowing how they are used for teeth cleanings, fillings, dental bonding’s, and other dental procedures can make you feel more comfortable next time.

What are the elements of a quality dental tool?

Dentists perform a variety of routines and specialized dental procedures that can help maintain healthy teeth and gums and repair damaged or missing teeth. To conduct these procedures, every dentist uses a range of tools.

Be it general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, or cosmetic dentistry, dentists need to use high-quality tools with detailed designs to make dental treatments more effective. These tools allow improved accuracy, hygiene, and better results. The better the quality of the instrument, the longer it lasts.

Dentist tools are often made of titanium and stainless steel due to their corrosion resistance and high strength. Dentistry tools made of plastic or coated with brass and chrome may peel, chip, or get damaged faster from chemicals and heat while sterilizing.

Ergonomics is an essential component of tools used by a dentist. These tools are manufactured with precision engineering. It allows accuracy and efficiency while conducting dental procedures.

Basic dental check-ups and dental cleaning tools

Some dentistry tools are used more frequently than others. These tools are used for regular cleanings and fillings, dental surgery, pediatric dentistry, and other preventive and dental disorder treatments. Cosmetic dentistry, aesthetic dentistry, and complicated oral surgeries require advanced, high-tech machinery to perform complex tasks.

Here are some most frequently used tools by general dentists.

Curette: Curette is a metal tool that comes with different styles of handles and sizes. This hand-activated instrument has dual working ends. It is used for scaling, removing soft tissue lining, cleaning infected pockets in the gum, root planning, and other similar tasks.

Dental drill: This tool is also known as a dental handpiece. A dental drill is used to drill holes before filling teeth, removing decay, performing cosmetic dentistry, etc.

Dental syringe: A dental syringe is used for administering local anesthetic injections for oral treatments by dental care professionals.

Intraoral cameras: An intraoral camera is used for capturing still images and videos to see the condition of teeth. This helps the dentist to see cavities, gum diseases, and the overall oral condition of a patient.

Polishers: Dental polishers are used for smoothing and polishing the surface of teeth. Some polishers are disposable, and some can be used multiple times.

Saliva ejectors: Pooling saliva in the mouth can disrupt the smooth functioning of dental procedures. Saliva ejectors are used for controlling drooling, removing fluids from the mouth, and preventing the swallowing of fluoride.

Dental sickle scaler probe: A sickle scaler probe is a handheld tool that is used for removing cavities, plaque, and tartar. This tool has a sharp-looking hook that’s attached to a handle.

Different types of dental handpieces 

Dental handpieces or drills are essential tools for some of the most common dental treatments. Drills are of many kinds.

Electrical handpiece: Electric handpieces run on electric power and are precision instruments. Electric handpieces provide continuous speed and torque even with increasing load. Handpieces come in high-speed and low-speed options.

High-speed handpieces operate at 250,000 to 400,000 RPMs, whereas low-speed handpieces work at 5,000 to 40,000 RPMs. The low operating speed makes the low-speed handpieces longer-lasting tools and suitable for heavy jobs. The high-speed handpieces are more precise, have less vibration, and operate with less noise.

Bur and connector handpiece: Dental burs are used with handpieces. These are tiny drill pieces used for cutting teeth and bones. Burs come in different shapes and sizes to suit various treatment requirements.

Endodontic handpiece: This is a machine-driven instrument used to clean and shape the root canal system before cleaning and filling procedures.

Implant and surgical handpieces: As the name suggests, these tools are specially designed with specific technical features for tooth implant surgery. These devices play a vital role in dental surgeries performed by dentists.


Regular dental check-ups and treatments can keep teeth and gums in shipshape. A visit to the dentist is the best thing to do to treat any oral issues. Certified dental practitioners have the knowledge and the appropriate tools to treat dental problems. Now that you know the essential dentist’s tools, those shiny and whirring instruments should not be frightening.

Have more questions? Contact Ashraf Dentistry today!

Ready when you are

Lamine Diallo
Lamine Diallo
02:21 15 Jun 22
My family and I have been receiving care from Dr. Ashraf and his amazing team since we first moved to Waterloo in 2002. His assessment skills are spot on, he is gentle and is very skilled at working with anxious\nervous patients. My dental hygienist is Lin who is very knowledgeable, and passionate about her work. She is amazingly gentle yet very,very thorough when it comes to preventative dental care. She is didactic as well, taking the time to teach patients how to use certain equipment as well as addressing gingivitis in pro-active ways. We are in very capable hands.
Trisa Kapetaneas
Trisa Kapetaneas
18:12 01 Jun 22
I have been a patient here for over 2 years now and I've always enjoyed the experience. The staff are professional and have always made me feel comfortable. I recently had a cleaning done by Lynn for the first time and she was amazing! Will continue to visit for my checkups/cleanings.
Aamir Mirza
Aamir Mirza
14:54 03 May 22
Dr. Ashraf and his team is amazing. All work done under one umbrella for entire family. We all are very happy to be under the care for the last 20 plus years. Lin, dental hygienist is remarkable professional. She knows her job so well that I look forward to my cleaning every time I'm scheduled. Thank you Lin for your amazing work for my entire family!
Alena Delena
Alena Delena
14:50 02 May 22
My family loves Dr Ashraf. We've been through many dentists in many cities and he's by far our favourite one. He's always thorough and professional. His referrals are also of equal high caliber. I went to him for a root canal and a crown. I had many concerns and he addressed them all personally. He even went so far as to redo a root canal for me. Recommend.
Nicole Wood
Nicole Wood
15:31 28 Apr 22
I found Ashraf Dentistry a year ago and I absolutely love their dental clinic. Everyone is very kind and thorough. Lin is the best dental hygienist I've ever had! She takes the time to ensure I receive the care I need. Both dentists I've seen have also been very kind and wonderful at making me feel like my teeth are being taken care of. Highly recommend!
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