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Don’t Be Scared: the 411 on Commonly Used Tools Used in Our Office

dental instruments used at a dental officePatients of all ages come to their biannual dental checkups with a bit of fear in their eyes. After all, a lot of the tools we use are not something you’d see every day outside of your Kirkland dentist’s office.

While some patients simply wonder about the purpose of the tools, others are just plain scared at the thought of the pain they are bound to cause. This is especially true in the case of children’s first visit, which is why we believe in preparing them beforehand.

To ensure that you and your children feel at ease, here are some of the most commonly used tools use at our practice.

Mouth Mirror

This harmless round mirror is used by dentists to reach the back of your moth in order to see teeth that are hard to reach. It is also used to reflect light on a particular surface or soft tissue, allowing the dentist to better decide the best course of treatment for you.

Dental Explorer

As its name implies, a dental explorer is used to explore a tooth, natural or restored, and investigate it. This device comes with a sharp-pointed probe and, at times, it might cause slight discomfort by pinching you.

However, your dentist may have to use it to discover defects on your tooth’s root surfaces, dental deposits, or carious lesions.

Dental Drill

Perhaps this is the most feared tool we use in our offices. In fact, the minute we lean over to grab the drill, we can practically see the fear in the eyes of our patients. However, you will not necessarily suffer pain when we use this tool.

Dentist drills are used to remove decay or to shape a tooth structure prior to the insertion of a filling or crown. Therefore, the amount of pain you suffer from depends on the procedure rather than the use of this tool. Rest assured, though, that we will do our best to limit the pain and discomfort you feel through anesthesia if necessary. If you need more tips to overcome your fear of dental drills, consider reading this resource.

Dental Syringe

Local anesthesia is injected into your gum lines through a dental syringe. You may feel a slight pinch at first, but that is about it. After that, the local anesthesia will numb the nerves of your tooth and gums so that your won’t feel discomfort during your procedure.


The most commonly used excavator is the spoon-shaped excavator. The tooth debris and decayed dentin from tooth cavities are removed via this tool. Do not worry about being in pain. Our dentist will administer local anesthesia if the damage is too much.

Dental Suction Unit

While the dentist is performing a procedure, you may notice that your mouth begins to fill with saliva. Also, some procedures (such as veneers), require that the tooth your dentist is working on remain dry. In both cases, the dental suction unit is very useful. This tool removes excessive saliva or blood right out of your mouth.

Still confused? Give us a call at (425) 822-0435 to schedule an appointment with our skilled dentists. You can also head to our website to review our dental services or schedule your next visit online.

Dr. Benjamin Greene

Dr. Benjamin Greene

Dr. Greene has been providing high-quality dental care to Kirkland residents for over 25 years. The Kirkland area is Dr. Greene’s home. He grew up in Bellevue and graduated from the University of Washington before attending dental school in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his D.D.S. at Case Western Reserve University and then returned to practice dentistry in Kirkland, where he has become part of the community.
Dr. Benjamin Greene

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