Tools of the trade: Periotome

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Periotomeby Dr David Chen, Aesthetic Dental, Bundall, QLD

The Periotome is an instrument used for atraumatic extractions. There are two general types—a straight one for use with the front teeth and an angled one for the back teeth.

What’s good about it

The Periotome allows you to remove a tooth without causing damage to surrounding tissue. It also greatly reduces postoperative pain for the patient. The instrument is used to sever the ligament between the tooth and the surrounding structure so there is no need to grip, tear and break.

Patients don’t take much notice of the instrument as it looks fairly innocuous but has very sharp edges. Once it’s in place, the patient feels like you’re trying to move the tooth a bit. In fact, the blade is between the tooth and the bone, and as it is moved back and forth, it’s cutting all the connecting tissue. The tooth is then very easy to remove.

I place a lot of dental implants so it’s important to perform atraumatic extractions. Too much damage to the surrounding tissue decreases the quality and quantity of the bone for the implant to engage for primary stability. I use the periotome for single-rooted teeth, multi-rooted teeth upon sectioning and it’s especially useful in decoronated roots.

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What’s not so good

To be honest they don’t last long because it gets blunt quickly. It can also bend and break pretty easily. Unfortunately it’s a flimsy piece of equipment because it needs to be very sharp and thin.

Where did you get it

Henry Schein Halas

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