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Tools that Dentists Use when Examining a Patient’s Teeth?

Tools that Dentists Use when Examining a Patient’s Teeth?
June 27
19:41 2018

If you are looking for reliable information on tools and technologies used in dentistry for examining a patient’s teeth, you have landed at the right place. In this article, we have shed light on these tools and technology.

5 Types of Dentistry Tools & Technology Uses to Examine a Patient’s Teeth

Check out the list of Dentistry Tools that are used to examine Patient’s Teeth:

Dental Mirror


One of the most commonly used dental tools for examining the teeth of a patient, dental mirrors helps to increase the visibility of dentists. With the help of this mirror, a dentist can examine the backside of teeth easily. Furthermore, it also assists them in examining places that cannot be easily viewed. Therefore, dentists, using this mirror, get a full view of a patient’s teeth.

Also known as mouth mirror, it has a slim handle that makes it easy to use it. Apart from examining teeth, it can also help in improving the visibility of dentists by adjusting the focus of light. Dental mirrors are found in different sizes. However, the most common amongst them are No. 2, No. 4, and No. 5.



Different types of probes are used by dentists to examine the teeth of a patient. These are used to identify different issues for the purpose of treatment. Listed below are three major types of probes:

  • Straight Probe: It is a sharp tool. Its primary use is to examine teeth for fillings and cavities.
  • Briault Probe: It is also sharp too. However, it is used to examine the spot in teeth where dentine and enamel meet. Its basic function is to identify tartar.
  • Periodontal Probe: This type of probe is used for taking exact measurements. Our teeth, when examined by a dentist, require different measurements to be taken i.e. measurement of gum pockets and periodontal probe helps in exactly the same. It features small engravings that help to take accurate measurements. It is further classified into three most common types i.e. Williams Probe, Michigan O, and the PCP12 probe



This is a special tool that is used in dentistry for the purpose of examining a patient’s mouth in order to identify any kind of abnormality. This tool lights up and helps the dentist to have a clear look as it shines a light in the mouth of the patient.

Many dentists use VELscope when conducting an oral cancer screening to check for early symptoms or forms of cancer. Apart from cancer, it can also help in identifies numerous other teeth and gum disorders.


It is one of the latest additions in the tools and technologies used by the dentists for examining patient’s mouth. Since many years, x-rays have been used to detect cavities. However, there are certain limitations with x-rays as they can’t detect cavities that are hidden in different places in our mouth. DIAGNOdent eliminates this limitation as it can help to detect cavities that cannot be found using regular x-rays.

This technology has rapidly become popular with dentists since it helps them to locate cavities in earlier stages. Thus, patients are spared from going through painful procedures to get rid of cavities in the later stages.

Dental Explorer

Dental Explorer, a small pointed tool, is another common instrument used by dentists for examining a patient’s mouth. At the end of this tool, there is a slight hook, which is used for investigating enamel. It comes with a slim handle so that dentists can hold it easily. The primary use of this tool is to explore soft spots in the patient’s teeth. These soft spots are signs of decay. Thus, a dental explorer can help to identify decay and related issues at early stages.

Dental explorers are available in different types; most common amongst them are No. 23 and tufts 17/23.

Digital X-Rays


Traditional x-rays, apart from having limitations, also posed certain risks because of radiations. With digital x-rays, there are almost 90% fewer radiations; hence, the side-effects of x-rays are also reduced. The reason why radiations are less is that a patient’s digital x-ray can be taken in no time. Once the x-ray image has been received, which takes no more than few seconds, the dentist can zoom into it and detect any issue or abnormality that is adversely affecting their oral health.

Intraoral Camera

Intraoral Camera

It is another revolutionary tool that has made it easier for dentists to get precise images of places in the person’s mouth that are otherwise difficult to examine. It helps to have a clear idea of issues that require immediate attention. Dentists also use this technology to conduct a complete checkup of the patient’s mouth and examine their teeth in a well-defined manner.


Tweezers are not exactly used for examining the mouth of the patients. In fact, they actually assist in the examination process. By using tweezers, dentists can place small objects in the patient’s mouth when required. Similarly, it can also be used to take out any object from the mouth.

Some specialized tweezers also come with a locking mechanism. With such tweezers, there is no risk of that object being dropped as the tweezer locks it.

iTero Machine

the iTero machine offers precise scanning. It gives a complete image of the patient’s mouth. Thus, an issue that is affecting one’s oral health can be easily identified and treated accordingly. This machine offers fast and reliable results and reduces the discomfort of the patient up to a great deal. It doesn’t require them to go through teeth examination process again and again as a complete image is gained by the dentists using this machine.

A Final Word: These tools and technologies mentioned above have made it easier for dentists to examine the teeth of the patient, identify any abnormality, and offer treatment methods accordingly. Thus, before visiting a dentist’s clinic, ensure that it uses state of the art tools and technology for examining patients.


Author Bio: Dr. Steven London graduated from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery at the University of Maryland in 1993. Prior to studying at Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, he attended SUNY Binghamton. He has been at his current location in Boca Raton for over 20 years. He treats patients from many surrounding areas including Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Parkland, West Palm Beach, Coral Springs and Wellington. For more information on Dr. London or London Dental Group, please visit

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