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Do You Know These Dental Instruments?

by Lori Hehn - Feb 19, 2016 8:00:00 AM
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Do you know these dental instruments? Most veterinary technicians perform dental prophylaxis and assist the doctor in extractions.

There are several dental instruments which veterinary technicians should be familiar with.

It is helpful to know the names of these instruments and their purpose to insure proper usage. These are just a few of the basic instruments to know!

calculusremoval-1.pngCalculus Removal Forceps

Use these to remove large pieces or heavy calculus from the tooth surface.

Notice that one of the tips is straight and one is curved.


extractionforceps2.pngExtraction Forceps

These are used to grab onto and physically extract a loose tooth. Notice that both tips are curved.



The probe is used to check the gumline and the depth of gingival pockets around the teeth.


shepardshook.pngShepherd’s Hook

This explorer is used to check the surface of the teeth for abnormalities such as sensitivity, pulp exposure, caries, decay, etc.


elevator.pngElevator (luxating)

Dental elevators are used to help cut or loosen the periodontal ligament during tooth extraction. They resemble an ice-cream scoop. Some have smooth edges and some have small teeth, such as seen in the photo.

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Download VTNE Study Guide The Top 15 Tips and Tricks for Studying for the VTNE

About Lori Hehn

Lori Hehn is a practicing veterinarian and a contributor and content manager with XPrep Learning Solutions. She has a drive for continual learning and enjoys interacting with veterinary and vet tech students. She also writes veterinary learning books for children.

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