Figure 1-8. Mouth mirror.
b. Explorers (EXPLORER, DENTAL). Explorers (figure 1-9) are sharp, pointed
metallic instruments so designed that the various surfaces of teeth may be conveniently
reached with the explorer point. Three different explorers are commonly used in the Army
Dental Service. One, the number 23 explorer, ends in a semicircle tapering to a point at
its distal end. The working end of the other two explorers, numbers 6 and 17, are shorter,
straight, and at an angle to the handle. These instruments are used for diagnostic
purposes based on the sense of touch and on mechanical penetration of defects in tooth
surfaces. Some diagnostic purposes are given below.
(1) Locating caries and enamel defects on the interproximal, occlusal, and
other surfaces that are difficult to see by direct vision.
Figure 1-9. Explorers.