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Why Dentist Used Concave Mirror – Ask A Dentist In Spring Texas

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Why Dentist Used Concave Mirror – Ask A Dentist In Spring Texas

A concave mirror is different from a flat mirror that is common in most households. In case of a flat mirror, the light is reflected such that the image observed is the same size as the actual image. A concave mirror, on the other hand, bends light towards you such that if you look in the mirror from a point closer than the center of the sphere, you will see an enlarged image. If you look further away, you will see a smaller image. These mirrors are usually used with a small curvature such that they are used in their magnification area and what is observed is a larger image. This mirror makes an image larger.

Concave Mirrors Features

Concave mirrors are the most common instruments used in a dentist’s office, and most patients will agree that they are less scary compared to other equipment such as forceps and drills. They are part of diagnostic instruments in dentistry. The concave mirror is sometimes referred to as the mouth mirror. The head of the mirror is usually round and can be in different sizes depending on the diameter of the mirror.

The mirror is made of a handle and head. The head is made of specified sizes depending on the manufactures but what is likely to change is the head, which depends on the requirement. Concave mirrors magnify images such that when the object is at a distance from the mirror, it forms an inverted image and as the object gets closer to the mirror it forms an image that is magnified.

Some of the mirrors handles are metal, while others are made of a combination of metal and resin or metal with a silicon padding. Others are made of resin only. Dentists that are concerned about the weight of the mirror prefer a lightweight mirror made of a resin handle with handgrips that are silicon padded.

Most mirrors are made of round surfaces. The mirror number shows the relative diameter of the mirror. Most dentists prefer size four or five mirrors, but a small-sized mirror with a number three diameter is important in case of mirror size issues. Mirrors that are double-sided help dentists enhance visualization, improve light reflection and are ergonomically beneficial since they have a unique bend in the mirror stem. Today dentists mirrors are more than a shiny surface as manufacturers have come up with all kinds of mirrors which give dentists an enhanced view of the inside of the patient’s mouth.

Why Dentists Use Concave Mirrors

At Vita Dental, we use the concave mirror for the below three reasons:

  1. Indirect vision

The mouth has many areas that the dentist might not be able to see clearly. To see these areas, the dentist might be required to bend or be on an upside-down angle or have to ask the patient to get fully supine on an extended back. These postures can be uncomfortable for both the dentist and the patient. This is where the assistance of mouth mirrors come in handy. As dental students, our dentists were taught how to work in indirect vision using a mouth mirror.

  1. Indirect illumination

This is caused by the reasons explained above. A dental chair light might not be enough to illuminate all the areas of the mouth. Thus, the dentist uses the concave mirror to illuminate particular areas of your mouth using the reflected light of the dental chair. The concave mirror is especially needed for this type of illumination.

  1. Retraction

Retraction in dental surgery means retracting surrounding tissues such as the cheek and the tongue to expose the area that needs to be seen and accessed for instrumentation. The use of anesthesia in a couple of routine dental procedures can make the mouth tissues slack. The dentist will have to use the dental mirror to hold the cheek or tongue in place especially if the dentist is using a drill. Using a dental mirror is this processes involves placing the mirror side of the mouth mirror towards the tissue and pulling it away from the operation site. The patient will not feel any irritation since the mirror is smooth. An experienced dentist will use the concave mirror for vision, illumination, and retraction during dental treatment.

Holding the dental mirror is not something that any Jane and dick can do. Dental professional get this skill from experience or learn it at school. It takes skill and practice to understand how to use a mirror around the mouth viewing the images on the tiny surface of the mirror.

Dentists are taught to keep the grasp of the mirror handle as light as they can. It is not uncommon for dentists to develop work-related musculoskeletal disorders due to gripping a mirror handle too tightly especially when retracting. Most of the mouth mirrors that dentists use are autoclavable and can repeatedly be used which leads to cost-effectiveness.

The concave mirrors allow dentists to see the minute details of the tooth in a magnified form. A concave mirror assists the dentists at Vita Dental to observe gums and teeth for signs of swelling, bleeding, tarter, decay, or cracks. If you need a dental examination or any other dental service, visit us at Vita Dental for the best dental services in Texas.

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