Fear is widely cited as one of the most common reasons people fail to visit dental offices as regularly as they should. Such fears often stem from a lack of understanding of the procedures and instruments used during a dental check up. If you would like to increase your knowledge as a way to allay the dental fears of yourself or one of your family members, read on. This article will discuss three types of exploring instruments used during regular check-ups.
The first thing most people notice once they've seated themselves in the exam chair is a shallow tray of highly-intimidating metal implements. To the uninitiated, these tools look as much like instruments of torture as they do sophisticated dental tools. Fortunately, this impression can be easily dismissed simply by learning a little bit about these tools, which are collectively referred to as exploring instruments.
Straight and Curved Explorers
These two items often occupy the two ends of a single tool. The purpose of both of them is to help the dentist examine the occlusal surfaces of the teeth for any signs of decay or disease. In other words, the dentist uses these tools to help them feel for irregularities on your teeth. In general, the tips of these tools are kept very sharp. This should not be cause for worry, however, since it is only meant to increase the amount of tactile feedback provided by the tool.
Like the straight and curved explorers, the principal function of an interproximal explorer is to probe the surface of the teeth for signs of cavities and other problems. An interproximal explorer differs in that its tip contains two or more angled sections. This simply allows the tool to more effectively probe along the back and sides of teeth.
Periodontal probes are often confused for explorers, though they differ in a couple of subtle yet key ways. For one thing, the tips of periodontal probes are much blunter. This allows them to be utilized under and around the gums without any risk of unintentional injury. In addition, the tips of periodontal probes are marked with a series of notches. These allow the dentist to accurately measure the depth of your periodontal pockets.
A periodontal pocket refers to the distance between the bottom edge of your gums and the place where it is attached to your teeth. Excessively large periodontal pockets are often a sign of gingivitis and other gum diseases that cause the gums to recede upward along the tooth. For more information, visit websites like http://www.cresthillfamilydental.com.