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The Dentist’s Tools

Just like everybody else, going to the dentist is not how I like to spend an afternoon. I have my own anxieties about the dentist’s office, and so it’s especially hard to try and make my children feel comfortable about the dentist’s office. This year I made it a personal goal to somehow quell my anxieties surrounding a visit to the dentist, and learn to be more comfortable about the entire experience. I wanted to do this for myself, but I also wanted to do it for my children as well. I realized that one thing adding to my nervousness at the dentist is that I am oftentimes not even sure what the dentist and hygienists are using on me. I’m not sure what the purpose is of the tools that they’re putting around or inside my mouth. So I went reading online and found out about what does what on the Babylon Dental Care website.

Some of the items are a little self-explanatory. The small mirrors that dentists use make it easier for them to see around corners and get a good look at every angle of your teeth so they can adequately determine the health of your teeth.

Dentists use probes and curettes to gently scrape off hardened plaque called calculus. Most of us can spot plaque and other germ residue in our mouths. We remove this when brushing and flossing. Dentists have the expertise to spot hardened plaque that’s built up on our teeth. They can scrape away at this plaque and stop when it’s all gone. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone at home take a curette and start scraping at their teeth. We just don’t have the eye or years of experience to properly handle that sort of thing.

The most unpleasant device for me personally is that suction device they use sometimes. In order for a dentist to work on your teeth for an extended time, that suction device is necessary to keep saliva from flooding the dentist’s workspace. The dentist uses that so they can work effectively and also so that you don’t end up swallowing any hardened plaque.

Most syringes are going to be filled with anesthetic. I know that a lot of people are scared of needles, but once the anesthetic goes into your gum, the area surrounding that spot should be numb for some time. This will end up saving you a lot more discomfort in the long run.

The dental drill is one of the most scary pieces of equipment. My children freaked out when they saw it for the first time even though it wasn’t going to be used on them. These drills are used to remove decay inside a tooth so that a cavity can be filled. The vibration of the drill works to knock all that decay loose. The sensation is awkward and unusual, but it’s not causing any actual harm to your teeth.

Going to the dentist will probably not ever be my favorite afternoon chore, but I feel a lot more at ease going in now that I have an understanding of how the tools they use work.

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