Most veterinary technicians perform dental prophylaxis and assist the doctor in extractions. There are several dental instruments which veterinary technicians should be familiar with. It is helpful to know the names of these instruments and their purpose to insure proper usage.
Calculus Removal Forceps- Use these to remove large pieces or heavy calculus from the tooth surface. Notice that one of the tips is straight and one is curved.
Extraction Forceps- These are used to grab onto and physically extract a loose tooth. Notice that both tips are curved.
Probe- The probe is used to check the gumline and the depth of gingival pockets around the teeth.
Shepherd’s Hook- This explorer is used to check the surface of the teeth for abnormalities such as sensitivity, pulp exposure, caries, decay, etc.
Elevator (luxating)- Dental elevators are used to help cut or loosen the periodontal ligament during tooth extraction. They resemble an ice-cream scoop. Some have smooth edges and some have small teeth, such as seen in the photo.