During a dental procedure, many instruments are used in the cavity preparation. These hand instruments are of different design and they perform tooth-cutting and caries-removing procedures. They are used on different tooth surfaces and in different parts of the oral cavity.
Some of these dental excavation instruments are the enamel chisels, gingival margin trimmers, and dental excavators like the enamel hatchet and spoon excavators.
Enamel Hatchets are dental hand instruments that are designed to cleave tooth enamel along the margins of the enamel rods. They are used in preparation of the cavity walls and the accessible margins of the dental cavity preparation. They are recognized by their numbers.
The dental hatchets are used for widening the entrance of the tooth cavity. After the carious dentine is removed, this dental hand instrument is used to slice away the thin carious enamel.
Spoon excavators are extensively used in the removal of the tooth debris and decayed dentin from the tooth cavities. Usually, the paired instruments are used for the purpose of excavation of the tooth. These are also identified with numbers.
Spoon excavators are further categorized by their sizes. They are small, medium, and large spoon excavators.
1. The small spoon excavator has an approximate diameter of 1 mm. This instrument is chiefly used in smaller tooth cavities and for the cleaning the enamel or dentine junction. As this is a fragile instrument, a low force is used while excavating to prevent it from damage.
2. The diameter of the medium spoon excavator is about 1.5 mm. This is used chiefly for removing soft caries from larger cavities. Mixed restorative material can be pushed in the cavity using the rounded surface of this excavator.
3. The large spoon excavator is about 2 mm in diameter. This hand dental instrument is used for tooth excavating and restoration procedures, and to remove excessive glass-ionomer material.
The various other instruments used for the tooth excavation procedures are the mixing pad and spatula, mouth mirror, explorer, pair of tweezers, and applier and carver. A special sharpening stone, the ‘Arkansas’ stone, is used for sharpening the spoon excavator, hatchet and the carver.