Hesperian Health Guides

The Instruments You Need

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HealthWiki > Where There Is No Dentist > Chapter 11: Taking Out a Tooth > The Instruments You Need

Buying instruments can be confusing, because there are so many. Only a few of them are really necessary. You can take out most teeth with the 4 basic instruments.

When you order, use the proper name. Many companies use numbers to describe the instruments, but a different company may use a different number. If you use the proper name along with the number given here, most companies will understand what you want. (See resources for dental supplies)

The four basic instruments

You can take out most teeth with these 4 instruments:

A spoon or probe... ... an elevator... ... and two forceps
DENT Ch11 Page 161-1.png a long, thin instrument with a rounded handle.
DENT Ch11 Page 161-3.png
upper universal forcep
DENT Ch11 Page 161-4.png
lower universal forcep
Use this to separate the gum from the tooth. An elevator will loosen a tooth, or lift out a broken root. Use forceps to pull out the tooth. There is one for upper teeth and one for lower teeth.

Other forceps can be useful, especially for taking out a strong back tooth. They have pointed beaks that are made to fit between the roots of a back molar. As a result, you can hold onto the larger tooth better.

DENT Ch11 Page 161-6.png
87 'cowhorn' forcep
lower molar 'hawk's bill' forcep
DENT Ch11 Page 161-5.png
18R right upper molar forcep
18L left upper molar forcep

Curved elevators are good for taking out broken roots. You can force their pointed ends more easily between the root and the bone that is holding it.

DENT Ch11 Page 162-1.png
Cryers elevators

Unfortunately, forceps and elevators are expensive. If you want to order more than the 4 basic instruments, remember the cost.

This page was updated:19 Feb 2018