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Instruments Used in Oral Surgery

Instruments Used in Oral Surgery procedures are very specialized pieces of equipment. Many of them can be used for a specific function only. Some of the most common Instruments Used in Oral Surgery, are as follows:


Elevators are used to lift and separate either teeth or soft tissues during an oral surgery procedure. There are several types of elevators.

Periosteal Elevator

It is used to lift gingival tissue away from the bone during a surgical procedure. This allows for retraction of the soft tissue to expose the bone and in some cases the tooth to be extracted.

Root Tip Elevator

A root tip elevator is commonly Instruments Used in Oral Surgery which is utilized for dislodging and loosening fractured roots and root tips from the bony alveolar socket that the tooth was attached to in the jaw.

Tooth (Straight) Elevator

A tooth elevator is a straight, thin-tipped instrument. It is available in different sizes depending on the size of the tooth that is being extracted and the amount of force the dentist will need to leverage the tooth out of the bony socket.

Apical Elevator (Root Tip Pick)

An apical elevator is also termed a root tip pick.

It is used to remove by teasing very small apical root fractures.


Forceps are specialized “pliers” that are part of the basic Instruments Used in Oral Surgery group used for extractions in oral surgery procedures. These instruments are used for removing the tooth from the alveolar bone. The extraction forceps has three distinct parts.

The end of the forceps, which is placed on the tooth, is referred to as the beak; the portion of the forceps that joins both sections together is termed the hinge; and the portion of the forceps that is held in the hand is referred to as the handle. There are many different designs based upon which tooth or teeth they are used for. There are also different shapes to the handles and beaks, depending on how they all grab the tooth, the different shapes and sizes of teeth, and for which arch, whether it is maxillary or mandibular, the beak will need to be oriented to.

Pedodontic Forceps

Pedodontic forceps are used to extract both primary and permanent teeth in children. Their basic design is the same as the adult forceps. However; they are made slightly more delicately to inhibit damage to the mandible or maxilla during the extraction of the teeth in children.


A curette resembles a spoon excavator Instruments Used in Oral Surgery. It is utilized to remove debris and infectious material (abscesses and cysts) from the bottom of an extracted tooth socket. Curettes are designed in various sizes to accommodate different sized and shaped tooth sockets.


A rongeur has a very similar design to that of a forceps; however, its handle is spring-loaded. The beaks of the rongeur are sharpened so that they can perform their primary function of cutting bone, The rongeur’s shape allows it to clip and trim the bone to round off any sharp edges left on the crestal bone after extraction.


There are times that a rongeur is not enough to smooth the rough edges of bone. In these instances, a bone file can be used to smooth the rough edges of the socket after the use of the rongeurs.


The scalpel is the combination of handle and blade that is used to cut through the soft tissues in the oral cavity and outside of the mouth. The handle may be disposable, or it may be sterilized. The blade is always disposable after a single use. It is available in a variety of shapes to allow the dentist the easiest access to cutting the soft tissues.


The hemostat and needle holder are scissor-like Instruments Used in Oral Surgery used to hold in a locking grip either small objects or a needle when the dentist is suturing soft tissue.


Scissors used in oral surgery are of two basic designs: tissue scissors and suture scissors. The tissue scissors are very small and fine. They are used in conjunction with a scalpel for cutting and trimming gingival tissues and other soft tissues during the surgical procedure.

Suture scissors have a different function and their blades are made to be stronger. These scissors are used for cutting sutures both during their placement to cut them to the correct length, and during postoperative appointments to cut the suture for removal.


Retractors are used to hold and move soft tissue during surgical procedures. Because there are a variety of conditions and areas where these instruments are useful, they come in a variety of sizes and shapes.


Mouth props are used to hold open a patient’s mouth during a surgical procedure or any other dental treatment. It is generally more comfortable for the patient to use a mouth bite block (mouth prop), because there are more muscles in the area of the mouth to close the mouth than to open it.


There are times during an oral surgical procedure that a tooth needs to be sectioned, cut, or split, or bone must be removed and the rongeur and bone file are not going to be adequate for the task. Surgical burs are usually slightly longer than traditional burs Instruments Used in Oral Surgery.


The chisel and the mallet are used to chip away a piece of tooth with a controlled force. In order to direct the force of a bone chisel in a controlled fashion, the chisels have wide handles that are hit using a surgical mallet.

Asepsis and Instrument Sterilization


For the sterilization of the surgical Instruments Used in Oral Surgery, the same protocol is followed as for the other surgical instruments, as explained in earlier chapter in this book. All instruments brought to the operatory field must be sterile. This is accomplished by the use of an autoclave or some other approved sterilizing method.

A sepsis

Asepsis is the act of maintaining sterility throughout a surgical procedure. This implies that all surgical Instruments Used in Oral Surgery, gowns, gloves, and materials must start sterile or clean. The only microbial organisms that will contaminate the barriers of gloves, mask, and eyewear, and For the surgical gown are those created by the surgical procedure for the patient being treated. If anything non-sterile from outside of the procedure enters the surgical field, the entire field becomes contaminated. This raises the risk of post-procedure infection.


Surgical garb in a hospital setting consists of caps, gowns, masks, shoe covers, gloves, and eyewear. The operator and assistant in preparing for surgery first scrub by washing their hands and forearms thoroughly. They then enter the pre-operative area. Here the scrub assistant places the hat, mask, shoe covers, and gown on the operator and assistant.

The operator does not help with this procedure in order to maintain his or her hands in a clean and sterile manner. Finally, the scrub assistant places the surgical gloves on the operator and the assistant. Once this is completed, the operator enters the surgical area. The team remains there for the duration of the surgery. If, for any reason, the operator or assistant must leave the sterile area, they must re-scrub and redress in new surgical garb.

About Dr. Muna

Dr. Muna Taqi is a Dental surgeon from India who has more than 10 years of experience in the field of Oral & Maxillofacial surgery, Endodontics, & Pedodontics. She has worked in multinational medical corporates in Middle East and is also a consultant dental surgeon for many. She has authored many articles for medical journals & websites and is a consultant dental expert for Healthdrip.

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