edges are easily dulled, you must sharpen them after
each use. Surgical chisels are much larger than enamel
chisels used in restorative dentistry. The surgical
mallet (fig. 5-15) is used along with a selected chisel to
split teeth or reduce alveolar bone.
Rongeur forceps (fig. 5-16) are used to trim
p r o j e c t i n g , u n e v e n , o r o v e r h a n g i n g b o n e
(alveolectomy), usually after multiple extractions and
before tissue suturing. It has a steel spring spreader,
which opens the beaks when pressure is released from
Although most of the bony projections are
removed with the rongeur forceps, some rough edges
usually remain. The bone file (fig. 5-17) may be used
to further shape and smooth the alveolar bone. They
are double-ended instruments, with both large and
small working ends.
Figure 5-15.Surgical chisels and mallet.
Figure 5-16.Rongeur forceps.
Figure 5-17.Bone file.
Three types of surgical elevators are used in oral
surgery: the periosteal, root, and malar. Root picks are
classified as root elevators and will also be discussed.
During surgery the dentist often needs to separate a
bone or tooth from the fibrous membrane, called the
periosteum that covers it. This is done with a periosteal
elevator. The dentist may also use it to gain access to
retained roots and surrounding bone. Two periosteal
elevators are the Molt #9 and Seldin #23 shown in
figure 5-18. The Molt #9 is used exclusively as a
periosteal elevator. The Seldin #23, because of its wide
working ends, is also used as a retractor.
Root elevators come in many sizes and shapes. At
least one (and sometimes more) is used in every tooth
extraction. Which elevator or elevators that are used
will depend upon the desire of the dentist. A root
elevator has three functions:
To loosen the teeth in their sockets.
To remove parts of teeth (broken root tips or
To remove a complete tooth.
Figure 5-18.Periosteal elevators.