While denistry is no longer as barbaric as it once was, thanks to medical and technological advancements, you may still see some unusual-looking devices on your dentist's procedure tray. Before you become quite unnerved about these items, you should learn something more about them and what the dentist uses them for. Knowing what they are used for helps you understand why you should not be afraid of them either.
Aspirating syringes look like the stick person on a men's bathroom door. The round circle at the top is where the dentist places his or her thumb to hold onto the plunger of the syringe, and the "shoulders" of the top of the syringe is where the dentist places his/her forefinger and middle finger to hold and control the angle of the syringe and needle.
While this instrument looks innocent enough without a needle, it might be more intimidating with the needle because the needle is often almost as long as the syringe. If you are uncomfortable with seeing the needle and syringe, just keep in mind that this is the instrument your dentist uses to completely numb up your mouth so you do not feel any pain during your procedure. After the initial prick of the needle, you do not feel the needle either, because the dentist is already injecting you with Novocaine.
Wooden Dental Wedges
These wooden devices look like very short and very fat toothpicks. However, their job is not to clean teeth, but separate them. If you have a cavity in between your teeth, your dentist cannot get to it unless he or she pushes the teeth far enough apart for the drill to reach the cavity. After your dentist has used an aspirator syringe and needle to numb your mouth, he/she will use these wooden wedges to drive two teeth apart. The wedges may be tapped or forced into place, especially if your teeth are very tightly fit together.
Screw-In Space Maintainer
Another unusual-looking device your dentist might use is a screw-in space maintainer. After the wooden dental wedges are used to create an opening between teeth, your dentist may decide that the space needs to be wider. This screw-in space maintainer locks into place between the narrow space that was made and the screwing mechanism not only helps this device clamp down tightly, but also widens the space between these two teeth even more. Then your dentist can work quickly to repair a cavity or fix a deformity. Although your lips and mouth may feel the surgical grade metal of this device, you will not feel any pain, thanks to the Novocaine. For more information, contact a dentist like one from Pike Lake Dental Center.