Perhaps the most intimidating thing about walking into a dentist’s office, besides waiting for the bill, is when you are in the room waiting for the dentist to see you. You’re in a fancy space-aged chair and surrounded by unfamiliar equipment. Is that a tray of torture devices? No, it’s just the dentist’s tools! Here’s a guide to some of the unfamiliar tools you might see in a dentist’s office.
Is That a Toaster Oven?
That box on the counter looks like something you might use to toast up a sandwich, but it’s a sterilizer. Instead of a sandwich, there are dental o rings and gaskets inside. This is used for making sure that the tools they put in your mouth get cleaned and properly sterilized for the next patient.
Is That a Wrench?
Similar to the wrenches you might find in an auto mechanic’s toolbox, dentists also use different types of small wrenches. Adhering braces and other surgical procedures require tightening bolts and other parts and these tiny motorized or manual wrenches are just the tools for the job.
Is That a Tire Pressure Gauge?
What looks like a tool to see if you need more air in your tires is most likely what dentists call a dental handpiece. This is a dentist’s most handy tool, as it is used for everything from drilling to polishing your teeth. It has interchangeable bits for different jobs, similar to an electric drill a woodworker might use.
The dentist’s office is full of unique tools that look like sci-fi movie props. From dental lasers to excavators and forceps to mouth mirrors, you’re bound to encounter some confusing machines and devices. Don’t be scared to ask your dentist or dental assistant about them on your next visit to clear up the confusion. They will be happy to educate you and teach you about the function of all the different equipment.