Mouth Mirror – A mouth mirror enables the dentist and hygienist to see all sides of the teeth and all areas of the mouth.
Explorer – This is an explorer. An explorer is NOT used to poke your gums. The dentist and hygienist use an explorer to feel your teeth, to see if there are any sticky spots that could be decay, check to see if fillings are leaking, count teeth and check the margins of crowns.
Cotton Pliers – This instrument is called a cotton plier. They look like tweezers and function the same way. Cotton pliers are also very useful to pick up small items and remove small items from the mouth. They are also used to to avoid contamination.
Excavator – This instrument is called an excavator, also known as a spoon excavator because the tiny ends resemble spoons and enable the dentist to “spoon” out the decay.
Scaler – A scaler is most often used during a dental cleaning to remove tartar, also known as calculus.
Periodontal Probe – The dentist or hygienist will use a periodontal probe to measure the depths of a space between the gum and tooth. If the space is very deep, gum disease is a concern.
Condenser – This is a condenser, also known as a plugger that is used to press the silver filling into place.
Double Ended Amalgam Carrier – This is a double ended amalgam carrier. The dentist or assistant “scoops” up the amalgam (silver filling material) and places into the opening of the tooth. This instrument is especially useful for large fillings, so that the dentist can flip it to the other end for the application of additional amalgam.
Carver – This instrument is used to carve and shape amalgam (silver) fillings. The dentist can use this carver to make an amalgam (silver) filling shaped like the actual tooth.
Cleoid – This is another type of carver called a cleoid. A cleoid carver is also mostly used to carve anatomy on silver fillings.