February 28, 2020
Dental elevator, luxator and periotome are all tooth extraction tools. Each is shaped differently for its own unique function. Tooth extraction is one of the most common procedures performed by a dentist. The intelligent use of these tools ensures minimal damage to the surrounding bony structure and neighboring teeth. Tooth extraction is often followed by implants or dentures which requires a certain amount of bone and soft tissue integrity. This is only possible when there is least damage to the tooth extraction site.
Elevators are used to lever the tooth out of its socket. They are durable and strong with thick tips and are designed to withstand the force needed for leverage. Their main function is to loosen the tooth prior to extraction with forceps. Normally the elevator is rested on the socket of the tooth being extracted. The neighboring tooth may be used as the fulcrum only if it is to be extracted too as the force applied during extraction can damage it.
There are several types of elevators that can be broadly classified as Straight, Triangular and Pick elevators. Each has a slightly different shape and purpose.
Luxators resemble elevators in shape but their tips are more delicate than elevators. As the tips are thin and sharp they can break if force is applied during extraction. However being thin, luxators can be easily inserted into the narrow apical space.
The Periotome is another tooth extraction instrument with a very thin tip. As it has a tapering blade it can be inserted in the space between the tooth and the surrounding bone. It compresses the bone structure slightly allowing better access to the periodontal ligament which can then be cut with ease.
Comparison between elevator, periotome and luxator
Elevators are used in a prying motion while luxators are introduced in a rotating motion. As its tip is sharp it cuts the periodontal ligament cleanly. On the other hand, elevators wear out and tear the periodontal ligament. The use of elevators is associated with more damage to the tooth socket due to the leverage force used. Luxators act as a wedge that separates the damaged tooth from the periodontal ligament and bony tissue. As they widen the tooth socket it is easy to gently pull out the tooth with forceps. Periotomes, having sharp tips, are used for vertical luxation wherein no force is needed.
One of the most common problems faced by patients is laceration to the gums which takes time to heal. Besides, the use of force damages the tooth socket to some extent or may even cause fracture of the buccal plate. The use of the right extraction instrument ensures minimum damage to the surrounding membrane and bony structure. This ensures proper wound healing with fewer complications. A neat tooth extraction ensures quicker recovery and less pain for the patient. The use of the periotome has greatly minimized tooth extraction complications.