3 Most Common Dental Examination Tools

Dr. Rayl Dental Health Blog Leave a Comment

dont-forget-to-brushIf you’ve been to the dentist, you understand that a dentist has an entire tray of tools that they use for different procedures. And that isn’t including the extremely luxurious dental chair. Dentists are like the Batman of tooth care, they have many gadgets for very specific purposes.

One of the most common and important procedures a dentists ?undertake for patients. Dental examination are normally the first and last step to any procedure or check up. Even during a teeth cleaning you will commonly see these tools in use.Here’s?some of the dental utility belt that you might see during an examination visit to your dentist.

Dental Mirrors

The most harmless looking tool on the tray the use?of?dental mirrors are critical to increasing a dentists visibility. Normally, a dental mirror will have a rounded mirror on the end of a slim handle. Dental mirrors or also commonly called mouth mirrors give the ability to see the backside of?teeth and in places otherwise hidden. Using these mirrors ?helps to give a complete view of your teeth and their health.

An additional use of ?Dental mirrors is?being used to help get light?focused in different areas of the mouth to further improve visibility.

The three most common mirror sizes:

  • No. 4
  • No. 5
  • No 2(smallest)

Dental Explorers

dental-toolsA Sickle Probe or dental explorer for short, is a small pointed tool with a slight hook at the end. Normally, they have a slim handle and are used for exploring for soft spots in your teeth that might indicate decay. ?The hook on the end is used for tactile investigation of the enamel which can indicate early stages of decay.

Like most dental tools they have slightly different types, the most common is the No.23 explorer. The No.23 explorer is commonly known as the Shepherd’s Hook because of it’s shape. Often you will see a two sided explorer, this is called the Tufts 17/23 because it has?both the ?No.17 and No.23 sickle probes one on each end of the handle.

Periodontal Probes

Periodontal Probes are a blunt, straight, thin tool that is used to make accurate measurements in the mouth. The probe has small engravings on it to make accurate measurements of distances and gaps in your teeth. Three of the most common probes are the Michigan O, Williams Probe and the PCP12 probe. Often during examination they will be used to measure the depth if the pockets between your gums and teeth. Just like the “Explorer” there are different type of probes for different measurements.

Though periodontal probes?are normally straight the Naber’s probe is curved. Being curved the Naber’s probe is used to measure the furcation area between the roots of teeth. This is used to help identify any bone loss, this is normally and indication of a periodontal disease. Each specific type of periodontal probe has different measurement markings on them in different intervals. Below are the different measurements of the probes mentioned.


Michigan O

  • 3mm
  • 6mm
  • 8mm

Williams Probe

  • 1mm
  • 2mm
  • 3mm
  • 5mm
  • 7mm
  • 8mm
  • 9mm
  • 10mm

PCP12 Probe

  • 3mm
  • 6mm
  • 9mm
  • 12mm

To the Rescue

Though there are only three major tools for examination, the many types of different instrument variations gives your dentist the right tools to examine your teeth. Now you can go to the dentist in confidence knowing what some of the most common tools are and how they are used.

If you are in need of a dental examination in Colorado give?us a call ?today!


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