Using a special defogging solution
Warming the mirror by holding it against the
patient's buccal mucosa
Heating the mirror under warm running water
Hold the mirror with a modified pen grasp and use
a finger rest close to the area being viewed.
The explorer is used for tactile examination of the
teeth. It is excellent for detection of calculus. Use it
over the entire dentition to ensure all detectable
calculus and stains have been removed following an
oral prophylaxis. Otherwise, it is likely you will leave
some calculus deposits or stains on the teeth.
A correct instrument grasp has a direct bearing
upon your ability to manipulate instruments. There are
three instrument grasps that you may use in
combination with a finger rest during oral prophylaxis
procedures. We will describe them in the following
finger supports the instrument from underneath. This
is a favorite grasp when using the mouth mirror.
With the pen grasp, hold the instrument the way
you would hold a pen when writing. Grasp the handle
with your thumb and first finger while your middle
MODIFIED PEN GRASP
With the modified pen grasp, hold the instrument
in basically the same way as in the pen grasp, except
that the fleshy part of your middle finger rests lightly
on the shank of the instrument (fig. 3-18). This finger
is used to feel the shank vibrate when the instrument's
working end rubs over a rough surface. The middle
finger also helps to guide the instrument. The ring
finger is used to stabilize the hand in the patient's
mouth. Balance your hand and the instrumentation
with this finger.
When using the palm grasp, the index, middle,
ring, and little finger hold the instrument so that it rests
in the palm of your hand. Your thumb remains free to
stabilize your hand in the patient's mouth, or it may be
Figure 3-18.Modified pen grasp.
used to support an instrument when sharpening (fig.
3-19). This grasp is rarely used in the mouth and only
when exceptional force is needed.
Use a finger rest or fulcrum to maintain control of
the instrument. It is a stabilizing point for your hand
while you are operating in the mouth. You should use a
finger rest in the same arch and as close to the working
area as possible. In the modified pen grasp, the third or
ring finger is always used as a finger rest. This finger
can rest on the teeth, the gingiva, another finger, or a
combination of these. Do not use soft movable tissue
for a finger rest. When you are holding the instrument
in a pen grasp, use your third finger as the finger rest.
When you are using the palm grasp, use your thumb for