Instruments designed for detecting tooth irregularities are essential for scaling
a. Mirror. A mirror is used to obtain better vision of oral structures and for
tissue retraction, both of which will allow for a more proficient examination of oral tissue
and detection of supragingival deposits.
b. Explorer. Explorers are manufactured in various shapes and sizes.
Selection is based on need in a particular situation. Explorers are used to detect
calculus, caries, abnormalities and irregularities of teeth and to examine contours of
c. Periodontal Probe. The periodontal probe is an instrument of evaluation and
is never used to remove or dislodge dental deposits. Its primary use is for
measurement of sulcus and pocket depths.
Instruments designed to remove calculus are called scalers. Several different
scaling instruments are designed to reach the various surfaces of the teeth during
calculus removal. A variety of scalers are available as standard medical supply items
for dental use.
a. Sickle Scalers. Sickle scalers are used to remove supragingival calculus.
Sickle scalers are useful for gross calculus removal slightly below the gingival margin
and when the tissue is flexible enough to permit easy insertion of the instrument. Sickle
scalers can produce undue trauma, are not easily adapted to curved surfaces, and can
decrease tactile sensitivity. Commonly used sickle scalers (figure 3-3) are listed below.
Sickle Scaler U 15-33.
Sickle Scaler Jaquette 34-35.