Thursday, August 9, 2018

Orthodontic Instruments

We understand at Ross Orthodontics that dental instruments are a source of curiosity or apprehension for a lot of people. Because orthodontic offices have specialized equipment, we wanted to explain to our braces patients how some of our tools work.

At a typical appointment, the instruments we use most frequently will be the handheld mirror and the explorer. Explorers have metal hooks at the ends which general dentists used to break tartar and probe gum pockets to check for infections. We also use them to apply elastic bands to orthodontic brackets.

Several kinds of pliers are used in orthodontics, almost all of which are reverse-action to prevent anything from accidentally falling into the patient’s mouth. A Howe plier is used to place wires into orthodontic brackets, and pliers with distal end cutters are used to trim and taper their ends once in place. Pliers with needle-nose tips are used to stretch elastics that are fitted in between the patient’s molars to make room for metal bands. The bands are pushed onto the teeth and shaped with burnishers, which are flat metal instruments also used by general dentists to sculpt fillings.

To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit Smiles by Ross. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.


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