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Dental Sep 06 2018 Author: Kyle Riggs

Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Dental Instruments?

Are you a future dental extraordinaire? Test your knowledge of dental instruments on our quiz! If you’re interested in becoming a professional dental assistant, learn more about our program to see what you can become!

Need a quick refresher on your dental instruments? Here’s an overview of some of the most commonly used dental instruments, as well as some tips to help you remember their names:

Mouth Mirror

This device is used to provide indirect vision, retracts lips, cheeks, and tongue. It can redirect light into the mouth. The name is pretty easy to remember because it’s a mirror that goes in the mouth!


This device is used to examine teeth for decay, calculus, furcations and other abnormalities. The name is a little trickier to remember you have to think about the way that it is used. The explorers are used to explore the mouth and find issues that might be troubling the patient.

Cotton Forceps

This instrument is used to transfer materials in or out of the oral cavity. It’s most commonly used to grip cotton, but can be used in other ways. The latin root for “-cept” means to grab or take hold of something, which can help you identify the name when you see it.


Periodontal Probe

This instrument is used to measure periodontal pocket depth in millimeter increments. The Greek root for “peri-” means that something is related to bone or the tissue around a tooth, so that can remind you that it’s a tool for evaluating the state of the mouth in that area.

Ultrasonic Scaler

This device is used to remove tartar from teeth. The Latin root for “ultra-” means that something is extreme or greater than, and “-sonic” is the root meaning for “sound”, so the ultrasonic scaler is a tartar removal tool that creates vibrations that reverberate outside the audible range of hearing for humans.

Extracting Forceps

This instrument is used for the removal of teeth. We know that forceps are for grabbing things from the cotton forceps, so the most important thing to remember that the “ex-” in “extract” comes from the latin word which means “to dig or pull out”.

Dental Elevator

This tool is used to assist with tooth extractions. The easy way to remember the name for this tool is to remember how it is used. Dental elevators are used to lift teeth in their sockets before extraction to prevent trauma to the surrounding area of the mouth.

Air Water Syringe

This instrument allows the dental assistant to inject air or water into the oral cavity. Most people have experience with this tool because they see and feel it during their regular dentist visits. Air and water are what come out of it, and it’s called a syringe because of the way it injects the water or air.

Saliva Ejector

This instrument is used to remove excess saliva or water from the oral cavity during dental procedures. This is another tool that most people are familiar with from their dentist visits. While a patient is being worked on, saliva often builds up in the mouth, so this device is used to suck out or eject the saliva from the mouth.

Learn Dental Assisting With Blake Austin

Do you have a knack for all things teeth? Dental assisting is a great way for you to embrace your passion for the healthcare industry. Contact us to learn more about our programs and get started today!

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