by Dr Damian Chung, Park Terrace Dental, Port Lincoln, SA
This is a really handy little tool that I’ve been using for the past 25 years. It always surprises me that more dentists don’t know about them. They are a great help for all restorative work, intraoral scanning, and underneath a rubber dam during root canal treatment.
What’s good about it
This saliva injector works as an extra pairs of hands, providing retraction and protection for the tongue while also enabling a dry work field. It fits into the saliva ejector hose of the dental chair using a small adapter tube.
There is a copper wire inside the injector that allows it to be bent left, right or unfurled to cover a wider area. It slots under the side of the tongue and by reshaping the extraoral section it can be clipped securely over the lip and chin so it remains in place for a whole session. They’re very comfortable for patients. They often work with patients who gag as they don’t contact the palate or dorsal of the tongue.
I use them when taking full arch scans with my Cerec camera. I can easily scan while it retracts two thirds of the mandible, then swap it to the other side to finish off the whole arch. Even for the maxilla it will keep the tongue aside for better access and vision.
They are perfect for hygienists or anyone working single handed. They are also fantastic when placing fissure seals on children. They come in a pack of 100 and are very cheap to purchase.
What’s not so good
While a rubber dam is the gold standard for moisture control, these come a close second—though I would still recommend a dam for endodontics. I prefer to steer away from disposables whenever possible due to environmental waste-related reasons but unfortunately, we can’t avoid it completely in dentistry.