So, you’re having oral surgery. Whether it’s a tooth extraction, a bone or gum graft, or you’re seeing a cosmetic dentist for an aesthetic procedure, you’ve probably spent weeks researching every detail about the surgery, from preparation and recovery right down to the nitty gritty details. When it finally comes time for the procedure, you’ll take a seat in the dental chair feeling as prepared as you possibly can. Until you look to your left and see a tray filled with terrifying tools that you’re unfamiliar with; that’s when your heart rate will begin to rise. Very few of us know what each of these oral surgery tools is used for, so in the name of being informed, and to alleviate some dental fears, here is an overview of some of the most common tools used by cosmetic dentists and oral surgeons:
Also referred to as dental drills, there are two main types of dental handpieces: high-speed and low-speed. Both are used to bore through enamel and to remove plaque, as well as for a wide variety of dental procedures, including the removal of decay and the cleaning and shaping of root canals. They are also commonly used by cosmetic dentists to shape teeth prior to the insertion of a crown or a bridge, for example.
If you’re scheduled for a tooth extraction, forceps will be one of the main tools used during the procedure. Shaped like tweezers and used to remove the tooth from the socket, forceps allow the tooth to be held firmly while the dentist moves the tooth back and forth to extract.
You know that scalpels are commonly used in medical surgeries, but did you know they’re also used in many oral surgeries? A scalpel is made up of a blade and a handle, and is used to cut directly though gum tissue down to the bone.
Chisels and Mallets
When someone mentions chisels and mallets, an archaeological dig may come to mind before an oral surgery, but these tools are used in conjunction to split teeth and remove bone. A mallet is a hammer-like tool made of steel or lead, and is used to deliver controlled taps on the chisel, which is the sharp tool used for the cutting of the tooth or bone.
Perhaps the scariest of them all, these needles strike fear to the hearts of many. Not to worry, syringes are used by cosmetic dentists and oral surgeons to deliver local anesthetic, which will numb the area of your mouth being worked on so that you feel very little pain during the actual procedure!
Now that you know that each of these tools serve a specific and necessary purpose, you know that there is no reason to be nervous about your upcoming oral surgery. You can head to your appointment feeling informed, confident, and prepared.