How to Clean Teeth with Dental Tools

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When using dental tools to clean teeth, a scaler is used to remove buildup, while a Prophy cup is used to polish the teeth. Learn more about dental instruments for cleaning teeth with help from a dentist in this free video on dental advice.

Part of the Video Series: Dental Advice
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. Mike Glasmeier from First Impressions Family Dentistry in Antioch, Tennessee, and today we are going to be discussing how dental instruments are used to clean teeth. Two different instruments we will be using today to clean teeth, one are hand instruments also known as scalers, and the other is what's called a Prophy cup, which is used to polish the teeth. With the scaler instrument, a hygienist will typically use this instrument to remove buildup, such as tartar or calculus off the teeth. Using a fine scraping motion around the gum line, deposits are being removed by the edges of the hand instrument. General scraping will remove the debris and help make the gums feel better. In this area, we have some buildup around the teeth. And what the hygienist will do is take their hand instrument, and gently go in there and kind of stroke their instrument across the surface of the tooth. By gently stroking across the tooth, the buildup can be removed off of the surface and the clicking motion. After the tartar and calculus have been removed from the teeth, the hygienist will proceed on with what's called a Prophy angle or Prophy cup. This is used to provide some sort of polishing effect on the teeth to make the surfaces nice and slick and smooth, so that they don't trap further tartar and calculus. In conclusion, there are two major instruments used by the dentist for cleaning the teeth, the first one being a hand scaler instrument to remove tartar and plaque. And the second one is a Prophy angle, which is used to polish the teeth and make them nice and smooth.


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