What Tools Does the Dentist Use?

Blonde woman with a beautiful white smiles because it was cleaned using professional dental tools

Although you may think our dental tools look like strange or even scary, Dr. Ernst and our team use each of those funny looking instruments to keep your smile healthy. We do all we can to protect you from dental disease. Today, we want to take you on a brief tour of a dental tool kit to help you feel more at ease the next time you’re in the dentist’s chair!

Dental Tools 101

Sickle Probe

The sickle probe has a long handle with a pointed hook on the end. Dr. Ernst and our team use sickle probes to check for soft spots on the enamel, reach between teeth, and gently remove plaque and tartar. Despite its sinister appearance, the sickle probe is a hero when it comes to detecting the warning signs of cavities and gum disease.


A professional cleaning using a scaler allows us to banish plaque and tartar from your mouth, leaving a fresh, squeaky-clean feeling! Plaque is a sticky biofilm of bacteria that irritates gums and produces enamel-damaging acids. If not removed through daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing, plaque will harden into tartar, or calculus, which will cause further gum irritation and staining. Regular brushing and flossing are great ways to limit plaque buildup, but every six months your teeth need an extra boost. We use sharp scalers to remove plaque and tartar from on your teeth and from below the gumline before it has a chance to cause gum disease and tooth decay.

Saliva Ejector

While our team is cleaning your teeth or performing a treatment that requires a dry surface, we turn to our trusty saliva ejector. This suction device gently removes saliva from your teeth and mouth and enables us to complete our task.

Dental Drill

Many patients find dental drills intimidating, but they are one of our most effective tools when it comes to restoring the health of your teeth. We use dental drills to remove tooth decay from cavities before it spreads and causes infection and further damage.

We Strive to Help You Feel Comfortable!

Each of our dental tools helps us keep your pearly whites healthy and strong. To ask our team any questions about the tools and technology at Pleasant Plains Dental, or to schedule your next checkup and cleaning, contact us today!