Any dentist worth their salt knows that having the right tools is essential when it comes to providing proper care to patients. These instruments range from the simplest and most common – such as dental syringes or mirrors – to the highly specialized, such as periotomes and luxators. However, even an experienced dentist or orthodontist may find themselves reaching for one instrument when another might be a better option, simply because the first tool shares similar characteristics. For example, periotomes and luxators are two separate instruments that often serve the same purpose, but there are a few key differences between them that are worth remembering. So, you ask, what is the difference between periotomes and luxators? Keep reading as the dental supply providers at Orissal explain.
What is a Luxator?
The question of what defines a luxator is one that can get surprisingly complicated. At a fundamental level, luxators are dental instruments used to aid in the extraction of teeth, often when the tooth has been partly removed due to decay or trauma – though that’s not the only time a dentist may grab one of these tools.
Unlike elevators, which work to remove a tooth or root by applying leverage against the alveolar bone (potentially causing a break and permanent damage or disfigurement), a luxator is designed to serve as a wedge between tooth and bone that applies less force during the extraction process. Instead of using a levering motion, the dentist gently twists the luxator to expand the space between bone and tooth, then slides the luxator further into the gap. Once inserted, the sharp tip of the luxator is then used to cut the periodontal ligament holding the tooth in place, which allows it to be easily extracted.
What complicates the task of defining a luxator is the fact that “Luxator” is the name of a product line manufactured by the company Directa Dental. This brand encompasses a number of different types of luxators, whereas a more generic luxator tends to take on form: a thin, straight metal rod with a tapered tip attached to a stubby handle.
What is a Periotome?
In dentistry, a periotome is another tool that helps dentists extract teeth while minimizing the damage to soft tissue or bone. These tools tend to be elongated and delicate, so they work on a similar principle to luxators in that they require the gentle application of force, rather than strong leverage. Many periotomes have bent tips that allow for more specialized applications, but whatever shape they take, periotomes boast sharp tips that make it easy to cut the periodontal ligaments that secure the teeth in place.
Are There Any Differences Between Luxators and Periotomes?
To a layperson, the line between a luxator and periotome will almost certainly seem paper-thin. Both of these tools follow the same logic: by offering a way of applying less force to the bone surrounding a tooth during an extraction, patients don’t have to worry about sustaining permanent damage that could make a future implant difficult or cause an unsightly depression where the bone is damaged. In either case, the objective is the same, and a basic description of the process sounds more or less identical whether a periotome or luxator is used. So what are the differences between periotomes and luxators?
The first and most obvious discrepancy between a luxator and a periotome is the visual difference between the two. Although different companies offer their own kinds of both instruments, the basic look of these tools remains the same almost everywhere: the luxator has a short, wide handle that’s often made of plastic or another hard, non-metallic material, with a long, narrow tip that’s tapered at the end.
A periotome, on the other hand, will likely be entirely metal, with a long, thin, cylindrical handle made with a rough grip for easy handling. The tip of a periotome tends to be shorter than that of a luxator, and it may be bent at an angle to more easily reach areas under a tooth. Periotomes also frequently – though not always – have a tip on both ends of the handle, whereas luxators only have a single tip.
Whether you’re using a luxator or periotome, the practical use (both in terms of technique and objective) is essentially identical. Both involve applying force through a gentle twisting motion, and both involve cutting the periodontal ligament with a sharp tip rather than tearing it through brute force. The main practical difference between periotomes and luxators comes down to the amount of overall force that’s used with a given instrument.
Though it requires more finesse than an elevator, a luxator still involves using more force than a periotome usually does, as evidenced by the luxator’s sturdy design and wider grip. A periotome, on the other hand, seldom requires much, if any, force, and is instead primarily used as a cutting implement, rather than one that wrenches a tooth away from the bone, even gradually.
Get Your Periotomes and Luxators Today from Orissal
To ensure that every patient is cared for, a dentist must have a variety of tools on hand for any situation, including periotomes and luxators to aid in tooth extractions. If your dental practice is in the market for high-quality supplies at reasonable prices, visit Orissal online or call 1-866-461-7518 today.