Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
A dental syringe is an instrument that a dentist uses to numb various areas of a patient’s mouth in preparation for oral care procedures. This type of instrument has multiple parts that allow the device to produce a thin stream of a numbing agent known as local anesthetic. Syringes can be dangerous if not handled correctly.
A medical instrument used to numb the mouth prevents a patient from experiencing pain when undergoing a variety of dental procedures. For example, the anesthetic used in a dental syringe can numb the nerves in a tooth that must be given root canal therapy, which is a procedure that a dentist performs to save a tooth that has been infected. Dentists also use a dental syringe to locally anesthetize the gums prior to performing root planing and scaling, a treatment that involves scraping hard food deposits from the surfaces of the roots of teeth.
An oral syringe device features several complex parts that work together to administer a local anesthetic agent. The thumb ring lets the dentist control how the syringe moves. After a dentist loads an anesthetic carpule into the barrel of the syringe, he or she pushes the thumb ring toward the carpule so that the harpoon — a sharp hook — penetrates the carpule’s rubber stopper. The piston rod then pushes this rubber stopper, thus pushing the anesthetic solution out through the needle whose hub is attached to the threaded tip of the syringe.
Another important part of a device used to given an anesthetic injection in the mouth is the anesthetic carpule itself, which is made out of glass. Besides featuring a rubber stopper at one end, it also has an aluminum cap with a rubber diaphragm at the other end. These cartridges should be kept at room temperature and cannot be inserted into a dental syringe if cracked or if the anesthetic solution in the carpule is expired.
A dental syringe should be handled with care to prevent harm to both a medical professional and a patient. For instance, loading a dental syringe with the needle attached and leaving it that way for an extended amount of time can cause metal from the needle to leak into the anesthetic solution, thus causing swelling once injected into a patient’s mouth. In addition, a health care professional must handle a used dental syringe needle with care to avoid sticking himself or herself with it, which can lead to the transmission of any infectious diseases present in the patient on whom it was used.
@Grivusangel -- I had one of those when I had a root canal. I had a temporary crown, of course, but the dentist wanted me to make sure I rinsed the area very well after I ate, so nothing would get stuck under the crown. I think it worked really well.
I still use it some to make sure I get in all the nooks and crannies after I brush my teeth. It works just as well as a Water-Pik, but doesn't cost nearly as much!
I think rinsing your mouth with warm, salty water once or twice a day is just a good habit to have, anyway. It helps keep down the bad bacteria in your mouth.
Another type of dental syringe has a curved opening (looks a little like an anteater's snout) for squirting liquid into the back of the mouth. It doesn't have a needle.
I got one of these when I had my wisdom teeth out and my doctor instructed me to rinse the places where the teeth had been, and the sutures, with warm, salty water. The nozzle on the syringe helped get the water back where it needed to be, since I didn't need to swish water too vigorously, for fear of dislodging the clots and getting a dry socket. It really helped, and I didn't have any problems with infection.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!