Dental Instruments

Regular dental cleanings aren’t just an important component of oral health. They’re crucial for a patient’s overall wellbeing, particularly if they suffer from a complicating condition such as diabetes. We at Redwood Dental Smiles in Castro Valley want our patients to feel comfortable coming to us for help, but we recognize that dental instruments can be a source of anxiety for some people. That’s why we want our patients to know their names and how they’re used.


There are several metal hooks hygienists use along with the handheld mirror for basic cleanings and assessments. Explorers are hooks which are used to test the durability of enamel, the outermost layer of the teeth, and to break apart tartar. We may also use a longer hook called a probe while examining the health of gum pockets and one called a scaler to remove debris and decay from below the gum line. Patients doubtlessly remember at past visits being told to close their lips around a vacuum hose. It is called an evacuator, and it sucks up broken tartar and drilled up decay.


When patients have tooth decay, we’ll numb them with a localized anesthetic before drilling it. The anesthetic is often delivered through a syringe. Water will prevent the drill from causing heat damage. We’ll mix our metal-free white filling material and apply it using rounded instruments called burnishers, which come in all sorts of shapes so they can contour the filling to perfectly fit the tooth.


Redwood Dental Smiles is operated by Dr. Vijay Munagala at 20212 Redwood Rd, Suite 101, Castro Valley, California, 64546. To schedule an appointment, visit Redwood Dental Smiles or call 510-886-6416.

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