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Dental Assistant Career Tools

April 23, 2015

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Most of us have visited the dentist a time or two for a checkup. Some enjoy the occasional cleaning, while others avoid the dentist like the plague. Chances are, most of today’s dental employees didn’t mind their own appointments growing up – otherwise, why would they consider a career working every day in a dentist’s office? If the dental field intrigues you, and you can see yourself entering a Dental Assistant career someday, read a little bit about a few pieces of tools you’ll handle on a regular basis.

dental assisting students are training with dental equipment


Air-water syringe

A device that delivers pressurized streams of water and air for use in dental procedures.

Dental Assistants typically operate this tool, which they use to inject water into a patient’s mouth to clean a precise spot. They’ll generally use it after the dentist is finished cleaning teeth or scraping away tartar. When kept open for a long period of time, our mouths tend to dry out, and the air-water syringe provides the refreshing relief of moisture we need when the dentist takes a break.

Saliva ejector

A device (containing a removable tip) that is attached to a vacuum supply to remove saliva from a dental field of operation.

Sometimes called a suction hose, dental assistants use this handy device to keep a patient’s mouth dry and clean during a dental checkup or procedure. Sometimes extra saliva builds up, which makes it difficult for the dentist to see what they’re doing. This tool helps clear their visual path.

High-Volume Evacuator

A mechanical instrument used to remove fluid or small particles from a dental field of operation.

A high-volume evacuator basically is a larger, more powerful version of the saliva ejector (or suction hose). As the name might suggest, it’s used to vacuum out pieces of dental debris that may be too large for a typical suction hose. Most patients won’t experience this instrument during a routine checkup – the evacuator usually is only brought out when dentists need to remove large pieces of a cavity or a tooth. Because these particles could become a choking hazard, the evacuator is primarily used for safety purposes.


How many professions can you think of that allow workers to operate interesting utensils like this? Probably not many. If you think that a Dental Assisting career could be right for you, contact First Institute today!


Learn more information about First Institute’s Dental Assistant program and Dental Assistant Careers: