A Guide to Buying Dental Equipment and Instruments

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A Guide to Buying Dental Equipment and Instruments

Dental tools are essential for dentists to have in order to do their job properly. Dental equipment and dental instruments help dentists do everything from examining to correcting teeth on a daily basis. Purchasing dental equipment is an essential investment for every dental practice. When choosing dental equipment, it is important to choose merchandise from reputable manufacturers. Higher quality items are more likely to work correctly and last longer. It is also important to consider the different features available on different equipment before making a purchase. The different types of services offered at the dental office should also be considered, to ensure the office has the essential tools for the job.

Dental equipment and instruments are purchased directly from dental suppliers, or manufacturer or online using eBay. eBay offers a wide variety of different equipment, which is often priced much lower than manufacturer prices. When purchasing dental equipment and instruments, it is important to determine the different types of handheld instruments and dental lab equipment, and the purpose of each.

Types of Handheld Dental Equipment and Instruments

There are certain tools that are essential for all dental offices. Mirrors and probes are used for examination, and are needed on a daily basis. Dental burs, drills, and retractors are other tools used regularly. Other tools are less commonly used, and intended for something specific, such as surgical use.

Dental Mirrors

Dental mirrors are one of the most used instruments by dentists and dental hygienists. They are small, round mirrors angled on the end of a metal stick. Mirrors make it easy for the dentist to see teeth that are hard to view by reflecting light onto the tooth. Dental mirrors also make it possible to look at the sides and back of the teeth. Sets with mirrors are probes are available and are usually more affordable than purchasing everything seperately.

Sickle Probe

A sickle probe, also known as a dental explorer, is a metal stick with a curved, sharp hook. Sickle probes are also a commonly used instrument in dentistry, used to examine the tooth and gums. It is also used to determine the amount of enamel, plaque, and tartar on a tooth and test for tooth hardness. There are different types and sizes of sickle probe, with the most commonly used being the Number 23 explorer, also known as the 'shepherd's hook'. Many dentists choose to purchase different types of probes since they are used for different jobs.

Periodontal Probe

Periodontal probes are dental instruments used to measure pocket depth between the teeth and the gums. Pocket depth is the amount of space between the gum and the tooth, which is an indicator of gum disease. It is a similar instrument to a sickle probe, but a periodontal probe is blunted at the end of the stick as opposed to curved. Because of the importance of finding and treating gum disease, periodontal probes are one of the most used examining tools in a dental office.

Dental Retractors

Retractors and props are another type of dental equipment that is used on a regular basis. Retractors are used to prop the patient's mouth open, making it easy to operate inside the mouth. A mouth prop, also known as a bite block, is one type of retractor that helps patients keep their mouth open and still during a procedure. Mouth props are also used when the patient is sedated. Other retractors include tongue, cheek, and lip retractors, used for specific parts of the mouth.

Dental Drills

Dental drills, also known as dental handpieces or engines, are used to remove tooth decay from the tooth. A dental drill is a handheld electric tool with a dental bur at the end of the drill. The different types of dental drills include high speed air driven drills, slow speed drills, friction grip drills, and surgical handpiece. Different drills are used for different things, such as filling cavities, repairing chips, smoothing teeth, or removing tooth decay, so they are one of the most important instruments to have in the office.

Dental Burs

A dental bur is the cutting tool made to go on the end of a dental drill. Burs are usually made with stainless steel, carbide, or diamond coating and come in different sizes for different jobs. One of the more commonly used burs is a polisher, which is a dental bur with a rubber tip used to polish teeth during regular dental visits. Round bar and inverted cones are both other types of regularly used burs. Burs are often purchased in sets and it is important to ensure they fit on the specific drill before making a purchase.


Dentists use different type of excavators in order to remove soft decay from the mouth. There are different types of excavators used to remove different types of decay. Spoon excavators are most commonly used to remove soft tooth decay. Half hollenbacks and chisels are also excavators used in dental offices.

Types of Dental Lab Equipment

Aside from handheld tools, a dental office would not be complete without lab equipment. Dental lab equipment helps dentists see or correct things that they otherwise would not be able to see or fix. X-ray machines, lasers, and CAD/CAM technology are some of the regularly used lab equipment in dental offices. When purchasing large dental equipment, it is important to determine the measurements to ensure the piece fits easily into the office.


During most dental check ups, patients must get an X-ray on their teeth to ensure there is no problem that the dentist could have missed. X-rays allow dentists to see the entire tooth and jaw, and detect wisdom teeth or small cavities. X-rays also monitor the change in gum health in the patients over time, and detects problems caused by gum disease.


Lasers are one of the more modern types of lab equipment used to treat patients without causing much pain. They are used to correct different problems in the mouth, such as cold sores, gum problems, and tumors. Another benefit of using lasers is that they do not damage the soft tissue around the mouth, and narrow in on the problem area to correct it with great accuracy. With laser treatments, anestesia and suchers rarely have to be used.

CAD/CAM Technology

CAD/CAM technology allows the dentist or dental assistant to improve teeth with the help of a computer. It shows a 3D image of the entire tooth, making it easy to detect or fix problem areas. CAD/CAM technology aids with crowns, inlays, and tooth restoration in half the time of older technology. CAD/CAM technology replaces the need to take tooth impressions with the 3D image of the tooth.

How to Purchase Dental Equipment on eBay

Opening or remodelling a dental practice requires the purchase of different dental instruments, which may get expensive. With the help of eBay, it is easy to find dental instruments and equipment for much lower than retail price, keeping the initial investment of purchasing the equipment much more affordable. eBay offers a large selection of dental equipment and instruments, making it easy to find every tool you need. To begin your search on eBay, you can start with the use of keywords in the keyword search box. If you know the specific instrument you are looking for, you can enter a specific search term, such as 'x-ray'. If you want to browse the different dental equipment and the different prices of each, you can use a more broad term, such as 'dental instruments'.

eBay also allows one to stay within a budget when searching for dental equipment by allowing you to set your price maximum. By setting your maximum price, you do not have to waste time searching for equipment outside of your price range. By purchasing from a local seller, you can oftentimes arrange to pick up the item as opposed to having it shipped, which eliminates the shipping cost, which may be expensive on large items such as lab equipment. When searching for higher ticket items, purchasing from an eBay Top-rated seller ensures that the product is just as described, and that the seller is reputable.


When searching for dental equipment, it is important to keep in mind which services the office offers in order to know which tools are needed. Some tools are essential for everyday use, while others are only used for specific procedures. Some dental practices start off with the essential items and purchase other higher ticket items at a later date in order to reduce the initial cost of opening a dental practice. However, with the large selection on eBay, it is easy to find affordable equipment and instruments.

Before making a purchase, it is important to review the different features of the tools, to ensure it is a high quality item with the needed features. Equipment with additional features may cost more, so it is important to determine if the features are needed before making a purchase. When purchasing large items such as lab equipment, it is important to make sure that there is enough room in the office without overcrowding. eBay makes it easy to find dental equipment and instruments quickly, easily, and affordably.

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