apical elevator
apical elevator

In dentistry, tooth extractions procedures are commonly carried out in order to remove the decayed or damaged tooth from deep pockets. Despite advancements in restorative and preventive dental practices, exodontia (removal of the tooth) has its own importance and is a vital dental procedure. For exodontias, dental elevators are essential to use and apical elevators are one of the types of elevators. 

The process of taking out the tooth from its socket by giving anesthesia to the patient is exodontia. It is hard for the dentist to approach the patient’s mouth to perform exodontia as his or her oral cavity is a narrow and constricted area due to cheeks and lips, and this is what makes exodontia an intricate and problematic dental procedure. Some patients cannot manage their tongue and jaw movements during the procedure, which makes it even more perplexing. Another issue with exodontia that dentists counter during exodontia is saliva. The mouth is associated with the pharynx, which leads to the larynx and esophagus, because of which there are higher chances of aspiration or deglutition of the tooth, which is under the process. To complete exodontia in a successful manner, apical elevator are widely used.

Components Of Dental Elevators

Elevators help to unfasten or release the tooth before using the forceps because elevators are easier to utilize than forceps. They also allow the prevention from damaging the crown, roots, and bone. Another function includes taking out broken roots and those roots which have surgical sections. These dental tools have a single blade, structured for particular benefits during dental procedures that require less hard work and more ease.

Elevators comprise three parts:

  • Blade: It is that component of the blade that has the prime function of exerting stress and pressure to the tooth and bone to perform the required operation on them.
  • Handle: It has quite a large handle for good handling and for giving sufficient force. It can either be an extension of the shank, or it can be located perpendicular to the shank.
  • Shank: It acts as a bridge or a link between the blade, which is the functioning part, and the handle. It has sufficient strength to transfer the force from the handle end to the blade.

The Function Of Apical Elevators

The purpose of the apical elevator is to disengage the tooth from its periodontal socket and also to lacerate the periodontal ligament (PDL) from the tooth. It makes the tooth socket bigger in size by stretching it to provide enough room to perform desired processes. This tool consists of special components in order to take out the tips of roots and affected parts of teeth. For these reasons, it is better to use this tool when dealing with root tips that are deep-seated and fragmented.

The significance of this tool is to alleviate the stress to the adjoining tissue and tooth during the complex dental processes. The thumb hold function enables it to provide more grasp when the surgeon is using it. The best way to use this tool is to position the wedge between the bone and the neck of the tooth and slightly move the handle in a quarter-turn manner.

How Are Apical Elevators Used?

Following are the two common ways to use an elevator for tooth removal:

  • One way can be to position the wedge in the ligament area of the tooth and the bone around it. 
  • When dentists forcefully turn the elevator in this area and rotate it, they are actually pushing the tooth towards the socket wall in this way. This method makes the tooth get larger in size and detach the tooth from its ligament.
  • The elevator uplifts the tooth, making it unfastened from its socket when it exerts pressure on the tooth by going in a downward position through this process.
  • The second way is to place the elevator in a wedged position between the tooth and the crest of the bone around the tooth. To disengage the tooth out of its socket, the bone acts as a fulcrum while the elevator puts the pressure in an upward direction.
  • A dentist can dislodge the tooth out of its socket area, maybe with an elevator only. In other cases, dentists use extraction forceps to finish the dental procedure if they want to.

Luxator Or Elevator

Both dental tools help with tooth extraction. How do we make a choice between using an elevator or a luxator? Which is a better tool among them?

  • Luxator deals with the periodontal ligament, which is in the long axis of the root. It is a slim and pointy blade that we can insert into the periodontal ligament. It can lacerate the periodontal ligament fibers, enlarge the alveolar plate when it goes apically, and push it. Remember to not rotate or raise it during the dental procedure. It has to be sharp for better functioning, and its sterilization is important.
  • The elevator is a sturdy and broad blade that accommodates the dentist to take out the unfastened tooth by adjoining teeth. It does not work under the gumline. It can cause damage to the teeth if we do not lacerate the periodontal ligament fibers before utilizing forceps or even if we rotate or twist the tool.

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