The dental explorer or probe, is a sharp-ended instrument.
It is used to check for hard tissue defects, for example:
- To determine the presence of caries
- To explore other enamel and dentin defects, such as fractured teeth and odontoclastic resorptive lesions
The explorer is also useful for tactile examination of the subgingival tooth surfaces. Subgingival calculus and odontoclastic resorptive lesions may be identified in this way. Dental explorers are available in various shapes, usually straight or curved. The Shepherds hook pattern is frequently used in veterinary dentistry, but a probe with a 90 degree bend is often easier to use, and more useful.
This article was written by Lisa Milella BVSc DipEVDC MRCVS.
Date reviewed: 13 August 2014
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