Figure 5-5.Mouth prop.
(fig. 5-6) are lock-type forceps with rubber-covered
extensions. The rubber provides protection against
injury to the enamel of the teeth. The use of mouth
props and gags is by no means limited to surgery. They
are also commonly used in restorative and pediatric
dentistry when patients have difficulty keeping their
mouths open during the procedure.
Surgical scalpels are composed of handles and
blades used to incise or excise soft tissues, and come in
various sizes and shapes. The use of each type depends
upon the type and accessibility of the tissue to be cut.
The blades come in presterilized packages and should
be discarded after one use. Attach and remove the
blades from the handles with hemostatic forceps. This
prevents accidental cuts and possible infection. The
two commonly used surgical scalpel handles are the #3
and beaver style. Each handle uses a different kind of
blade and attachment method.
Figure 5-7.Scalpel Handle #3 and blades.
The #3 handle, shown in figure 5-7, is short and
wide; it uses a slotted blade that slides onto the handle.
The four blades most often used with this handle are
the #10, #11, #12, and #15. Blades #10 and #15 have
similar working ends. The greatest difference is that
the #10 blade is longer. The cutting edge on both of the
blades is on the curved part of the blade.
Suture Needles and Materials
Suture needles and materials are packaged in
sterile packs with the needles and have already been
attached to the suture material. There is a wide variety
of both needles and suture materials.
NEEDLES.Most suture needles used in
dentistry are semicircular. They have either smooth
sides or cutting sides, and vary greatly as to the
diameter of the semicircle, as shown in figure 5-8. The
smaller sizes are used most often because of the limited
space in the oral cavity.
MATERIALS.Dentists use suture material
with a suture needle to close wounds in and around the
oral cavity. Suture materials are usually classified as
either absorbable or nonabsorbable. Almost all
sutures used in oral surgery are nonabsorbable. These
sutures must be removed after the wound heals enough
to hold together. Absorbable sutures are dissolved and
Figure 5-6.Mouth gags.
Figure 5-8.Suture needles.