A visit to the dentist can be an intimidating experience for many people who suffer from dental anxiety. Even if the visit will only comprise a simple routine check-up, the thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair with the bright spotlight hanging over you might send you into panic mode.


If you are a sufferer of dental anxiety, it might help you if you were to better understand what it is the dentist will be doing during your check-up. This can be especially helpful if you are going in for a procedure that is a bit more complex. Knowing what is coming can allow you to prepare for your visit so that you can go in with a calmer and more relaxed mentality.


In that spirit, here are three of the most common dental tools that you can expect to encounter during your next visit to the dentist.

1. Handpieces


The Dental Handpiece is one of the most versatile tools that your dentist will have. It is generally used for procedures involving fillings or the removal of tooth decay. This tool can be one of the more intimidating items that you encounter at the dentist, as it resembles and effectively functions as a small drill.


Rest assured, though, that your dentist would only use this when necessary and that, depending on the specific procedure you are having done, you don’t need to worry about excessive pain being caused by the handpiece.

2. Fine Scalers


When you go for a routine dental cleaning, the dental hygienist might use a fine scaler on areas where they see a build-up of tartar or plaque. Scalers are about the size of a pen and look like they have fine hooks at each end. The dentist or hygienist will use this to scrape away deposits that they find above the gum line.


Although this process can be uncomfortable, you don’t need to worry about pain with this tool either. Dentists are highly skilled at using scalers with excellent control. You might notice quite a bit of bleeding from your gums, but you can always decrease the chances of excess bleeding by keeping up with regular flossing between dental visits.

3. Saliva Ejector


When your dentist or hygienist is working on your teeth, your mouth will salivate quite a bit. Furthermore, they will be using a fair amount of water to rinse away any debris, cleaning and polishing solutions, and any bleeding that occurs from your gums. Instead of having you constantly spitting all this out during your visit, they will use a suction device called a saliva ejector.


This device looks like a plastic tube that is connected to a larger suction machine. It is made with a flexible wire that can be shaped to sit in your mouth without assistance for the duration of the cleaning or other procedure. The ejector causes virtually no pain or discomfort to the patient while it is in use.