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Everyone at the office is very friendly and helpful, and the technicians are great. I feel like Westerville Dental is very much on top of the latest screening and monitoring techniques, and I really appreciate the thoroughness of the appointments in terms of measuring gum health as well as tooth health. I chose this place when I moved down here based on the good reviews, and I haven't been disappointed.
So professional AND friendly. I know that I am getting the best care for my whole family. Plus, the waiting area is beautiful and comfortable--like a living room!--with a special area for young ones to read and draw on the chalk boards.
So glad I found this office when I moved back to Ohio. I’ve had so many bad experiences at the dentist, this place is understanding and open to my questions, they explain everything and it really seems like they care. They also have an open and inviting waiting room that is beautiful.
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The team at Westerville Dental Associates use a wide variety of dental tools that help us provide exceptional care for all our patients. While these tools provide us with excellent control, many of the tools can look a little bit menacing; some of the tools even have names that sound less than friendly. Over the years, we’ve found that introducing our patients to some of the tools we use can help alleviate any nervousness they may feel.
6 Dental Tools You Should Know
1. Mouth Mirror
You are probably already familiar with the mouth mirror. This “mirror on a stick” helps our dentists have a close look at every corner of your mouth. The mouth mirror makes it easier to find evidence of tooth decay or other problems that might otherwise go undetected. The mouth mirror is also handy for gently moving the tongue or soft tissue to the side so our dentist can have a better view.
2. Sickle Probe
The sickle probe is also familiar to many patients – it is the metal stick with a curved hook at the end. Our dentist uses a sickle probe, also known as a “dental explorer,” to analyze the surface of the teeth. In some cases, dentists use a sickle probe to scrape tartar and plaque from between teeth. Sickle probes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you may see several on the dentist’s tray.
Unlike sickle probes that are effective at removing plaque and tartar in limited areas, scalers are better at removing larger sections of plaque and tartar. Most patients who require scaling have significant periodontal disease, which is a serious gum infection that damages gums and can destroy the jawbone if left untreated.
Everyone experiences some form of plaque buildup, though – bacteria mixes with saliva, sugar and food particles to form plaque that sticks to your teeth. Brushing and flossing removes most of this plaque, but some can remain on your teeth. In time, this plaque can harden into difficult-to-remove tartar. Plaque and tartar are acidic, so they can eat through tooth enamel to cause cavities. Our dentists use scalers to scrape off excess plaque that we cannot remove with a probe.
4. Suction Device
Suctioning is essential for helping our dentists see what they are doing and for maintaining a clean treatment area.
Our team of dentists use two types of suction devices. One is a saliva ejector, which is a J-shaped hollow plastic tube that produces a low level of suction to make it easy to remove saliva, blood, and other materials from your mouth. Thanks to its shape, we do not need to hold this suction device – this tube hangs over your lower teeth and removes saliva and water through its perforated tip.
The high-volume suction device is a more powerful version of the saliva ejector in that it provides high-level suction capable of moving tartar, tooth fragments, and old fillings. A member of our dental team holds it close to the treatment area only long enough to remove excess saliva and debris.
5. Dental Drill
The dental drill is probably the least popular piece of dental equipment among patients – it sprays water, sends vibrations down your teeth, and makes an unforgettable noise. While it is not popular, the dental drill is an indispensable tool for dentists. Our dentists use dental drills to quickly and effectively remove bits of decayed tooth enamel before we fill a cavity, for example.
Spinning at more than 250,000 rpm, dental drills are very powerful. In fact, if the drill didn’t spray water, it would get hot enough to damage your tooth. Spinning this quickly can cause vibrations on your teeth, but the procedure is usually not painful; our dentists administer local anesthetic prior to using the dental drill.
6. Dental Syringe
Speaking of administering a local anesthetic, our dentists use the highest quality dental tools to ensure your comfort and satisfaction – one of these tools is the dental syringe that we use to numb specific areas of your mouth.
Dental syringes are a bit longer than the needles or syringes nurses use to give you a shot – they have to be longer so that our dentists can hit the right spot when administering a local anesthetic deep inside the mouth. As with the shot nurses give, the initial injection may cause discomfort for a moment, but the powerful anesthetic quickly numbs the area. Our dentists are also glad to apply a dab of topical anesthetic to the area prior to administering the local anesthetic to dull the initial needle prick.
You are truly unique, and so are your teeth! Molds help our dentists create crowns that look and feel just like your natural teeth.
Molds are small frames, filled with a soft substance that hardens over time. When you bite down on the mold, the soft substance forms itself to the contours of your teeth to create a perfect mold. While the mold does not taste great, it does help us create a perfect replica of your teeth.
For more information about dental tools, contact our team of dentists at Westerville Dental Associates. We are always glad to show you the tools we use to provide the best dental care possible.