What Are Those Things at the Dentist?

Published on May 13th, 2019 by Michael C. Griffin, D.M.D.

Twice a year, we visit our dentist near Edgewater for a checkup. Sometimes we go more often for a filling, an Invisalign fitting, or a root canal treatment. But when you are heading in for a checkup, do you know the names and uses of some of the dentist’s tools? Check out a few things a dentist will use during a checkup and what purpose it serves.


Mouth Mirror

The mouth mirror is a small round mirror that is attached to a metal stick. The mirror allows the dentist to see places in the mouth that they wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. They can look for tooth decay or other oral problems using the mirror. Additionally, the mirror can help move your tongue out of the way or push the inside of your cheek in a painless way to get a better view of your teeth.


Suction Device

The suction device is a long tube that is attached to a vacuum. It removes saliva from your mouth when the dentist needs a dry surface. Sometimes, the suction device sticks to your tongue or cheek, but it’s nothing to worry about! When treatments need water, the dentist or dental hygienist may tell you to close your mouth around the suction tube to clear the water out.



A scaler helps remove a buildup of plaque and tartar. Whenever you eat or drink, tiny particles like sugars and acids can stick to your teeth. This causes bacteria to form. Brushing and flossing help remove these bacteria, but when you see your dentist, they can use the scaler to remove the excess plaque. The scaler helps prevent tooth decay!


X-Ray Machine

Whether you are a new patient, or you haven’t received X-rays in a while, your dentist may want to take new pictures of your teeth. The X-ray machines help dentists accurately diagnose and treat dental problems early on and before they become serious. With the X-ray, you can see between and inside your teeth and the tip of your roots and bones that your gums normally hide. The X-rays allow dentists to see the whole picture.


Northalsted Dental Spa wants to make sure you are as comfortable as possible during your visit. Learning more about the tools we use can help calm your nerves. Contact us today to make an appointment at your dentist near Edgewater.

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Northalsted Dental Spa

3710 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60613


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Monday 10:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 7:30 PM
Wednesday CLOSED
Thursday 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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