General Family Dentist | Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Gladstone, Happy Valley and Portland, OR

Kevin H. Speer, D.D.S.
2250 SE Oak Grove Blvd.
Milwaukie, OR 97267
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Learn The Tools In Your Dentist Office

Dentist holding tool

While patients sit in the dentist’s chair waiting for their practitioner to conduct their twice-yearly visit, they often have a moment to ponder the purpose of the strange equipment they see around them. Education is a cornerstone of effective medical treatment, and knowing more about the equipment and how it’s used can help ease dental anxiety in mild cases. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the equipment your dentist uses and how it helps them provide great care for your teeth, we have a lot to share with you! Below you’ll find descriptions of the various equipment in the doctor’s office and information about how it’s used.

Mouth Mirror

This device is simply a mirror on a curved handle, but its a critical part of how your dentist observes the health of your whole mouth. Using this round mirror, and often a penlight held in the other hand, your dentist is able to observe the inside of your oral cavity and determine if any issues need to be addressed. This mirror doubles as a way to pull your cheek away from your teeth and gums so the dentist can see into that cavity.

Saliva Ejector

Have you ever noticed how much you salivate while your dentist is poking around in your mouth? This tool helps your dentist by suctioning away your saliva, as well as debris that may occur as part of dental work with a drill.


These metal hooks are used by your dentist to clean your teeth by scraping away built-up tartar and plaque on your teeth. Many patients describe the sound it makes while being used as an ‘unpleasant scraping.’ The process of having these substances removed from your teeth can be uncomfortable, but your teeth will feel much better afterward.


This is perhaps the largest cause of anxiety in dental patients, in part due to its high-pitched whine that many people find unpleasant. It’s a critical part of your dentist’s work, though, and makes it possible for them to safely and cleanly remove decay from your teeth. It is also used for shaping restorations made to your teeth with composites and resins.


All dental offices contain a unique design of x-ray that makes it possible for your dentist to collect images of your teeth and bone-structure that’s normally hidden from view. These are a standard part of most twice-yearly exams and are an essential part of helping your dentist catch concerns before they become serious.

If you have more questions about the equipment your dentist uses, and what other equipment they have in their offices, call them today! You can make an appointment with Dr. Kevin H Speer at the Oak Grove Dental Center in Milwaukee, OR, to get dental cleaning done and learn more about their facility. Don’t let your visit to the dentist be filled with concern about the equipment they have and what they’re going to use it for, ask questions, and become an educated patient!

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