There are many types of orthodontic instruments that can be used when attaching, removing or making adjustments to orthodontic fixtures. The tools used in orthodontics are constructed out of strong, high-quality materials that allow the orthodontist to perform delicate procedures while still being able to use a great deal of strength. Some of the more common orthodontic instruments include pliers, cutters and measuring devices. There are various forms of each of these instruments, each used for a very specific purpose.
When placing orthodontic hardware in a patient’s mouth, a number of orthodontic instruments can be utilized. Tools that measure the spaces between the teeth and the distance that the tooth needs to be moved — such as dividers, wedge rulers and gauges — can be used when the orthodontist is determining how to move the patient’s teeth around. These instruments help the orthodontist determine a plan for correcting the alignment of a patient’s teeth. The orthodontist may also use mirrors when attaching the hardware so it is easier to see inside the patient’s mouth.
Many types of pliers are commonly used in orthodontics. Pliers are the most common orthodontic instrument and may be used to bend wires, secure bands and hold the ends of wire, among other uses. An orthodontist will often use multiple sets of pliers when adjusting the wiring on a patient’s orthodontic hardware.
To bend wires, an orthodontist may use different types of pliers designed to create certain types of bends. There are pliers that can create a single angle, those that can help bend a wire back on itself and those that can create multiple bends in the wire. Aside from pliers, there are also specialty wire forming or twisting instruments that may be used to adjust the hardware in a patient’s mouth.
Some orthodontic instruments are designed to remove hardware, such as braces, from a patient’s mouth. There are specially designed pliers that can remove brackets and bands from a patient’s teeth. Various cutting tools can be used to cut through the wires once they are no longer needed. Some instruments are also designed to remove the adhesive that connects the hardware to the patient’s mouth.
In some orthodontic procedures, surgical orthodontic instruments may also be used. Patients who use orthodontic implants will need to undergo minor surgery, which requires the use of cutting instruments such as scalpels. Special tools also may be used to install orthodontic implants into a patient’s jaw.