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Course Description

Credit Units: 3
NIF ENEOJO, , Department of Allied Health & Biological Sciences, College of Health Sciences 

Course description:

This course is designed to enable the students use the appropriate dental therapy hand instruments to examine and treat patients. This course will instill the skill of knowing how to examine patients using appropriate instruments, know the appropriate instruments for examination, know the appropriate instruments for gross scaling, know the appropriate instruments for fine scaling, and know the appropriate instruments and equipment for polishing of the teeth and application of the instruments 

{Course content} 

  • Examination of patients using appropriate instruments. 
  • The instruments for gross scaling 
  • The instruments for fine scaling. 
  • The instruments and equipment for polishing of the teeth 
  • Practicals 


INTRODUCTION Knowing how to examine patients using appropriate instruments starts with identifying the instruments used for examination and this we have already done in dental instrumentation I, Examination instrument was discussed among the five groups of hand instruments used in dental therapy non surgical operatory. 

Basic Examination Kit/ Pack The basic examination kit contains four main instruments namely the: 

  • mouth mirror 
  • Explorers example: Caries and calculus Probe 
  • Periodontal Probe 
  • Tweezers 

Dental /Mouth Mirror The mouth mirror comes in various sizes and has many functions: 

  • It has the advantage of allowing vision into difficult to access areas and indirect vision 
  • It allows improved vision due to extra light it brings into the mouth. 
  • It can also be used to retract tissue out of the working area example retracting the tongue and cheek. 

Dental Explorers/Probe The dental explorer is an important examination instrument: 

  • Used basically for examination of the tooth surfaces 
  • It helps to identify areas with calculus and caries 
  • It also can be used to check for marginal failures or overhangs on restorations 

Periodontal Probe The standard probe used is the CPIT probe (also known as the WHO probe): CPIT Probe 

The CPIT probe is used to check the basic periodontal status of the patient. This probe consists of a 0.5mm ball at the tip. There is then a black band from 3.5mm to 5.5mm. Some probes also feature a black band from 8.5mm to 11.5mm. This probe is used to provide patients with a Basic Periodontal Examination (BPE Score). 

Tweezers Dental Tweezers These are used for things like picking up burs, cotton wool or anything else that you don’t want to put your hands on! 

Other Important Instruments 

Air-Water Syringe/3-in-1 Syringe 

3-in-1 syringe 

This has the ability to clean areas with water as well as dry areas through air. The 3-in-1 is useful in a huge number of applications, examples include: 

  • Drying teeth to diagnose decay 
  • Wash away acid etch 
  • Dry tooth before composite placement 

The Intraoral Examination. As with the head and neck evaluation, this examination should be done using the same sequence every time. The first step in the intraoral examination is a quick general examination of the cheeks, hard palate, tongue and gingiva looking for any contraindications for continuing the evaluation. On completion of this course the student should be able to identify the appropriate instrument for examination of the oral cavity e.g. dental (mouth) mirror, periodontal probe, other probes, tweezers, set the instruments identified, reflect, retract and protect parts of the mouth using dental mirror, determine the depth of gum loss using the periodontal [probe, determine presence of tooth decay using other probes, transfer materials to and from the oral cavity using tweezers, identify the appropriate instruments for gross scaling e.g. jacquets 1,2 and 3, hoes, chisel, gross excavators etc., set the instruments identified ready for use, apply the jacquets 1, 2, and 3 appropriately, apply the hoes appropriately, apply the chisels appropriately, apply the gross excavators appropriately, apply other instruments for gross scaling, identify appropriate instruments for fine scaling e.g. drury scalars, fine excavators, chisel (fine), curettes, sickles etc., 

set the instruments identified ready for use, apply the drury scalars appropriately, apply the fine excavators appropriately, apply the line chisels appropriately, apply the curettes appropriately, apply the sickles appropriately, apply other instruments for fine scaling, identify the appropriate equipment for tooth polishing e.g. dental units, dental chair, spot light, identify the appropriate instruments for tooth polishing e.g. contra-angled arm piece, bristle brushes – 

wheel and cup types, rubber cups-small and large polisher, attach the instruments to the appropriate instrument, polish tooth using the appropriate instrument.

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