U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 36-year-old member asked:

What is the name of the instrument used in dentistry for polishing teeth?

9 doctor answers18 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Mc Allister
Specializes in Dentistry
Many instruments: Many instruments in dentistry that polish teeth. Consider when having your teeth cleaned a hygienist or dentist can use a scaler, ultrasonic scaler, or a prophylaxis cup with prophylaxis paste (+ varieties). A dentist can use burs that would be used in a dental drill, made of different materials like diamonds, carbides, and ceramic. They can use wheels and discs that have different coarseness.
Dr. Ahmad Eslami
Periodontics 45 years experience
Prophy jet: Prophy jet and rubber cups are usually used to polish teeth during the cleaning appointment.
Dr. Rafael Morales
Specializes in Dentistry
Contra-angle: The contra-angle handpiece is attached to a slow speed motor. There several attachments that can be put on the head of the contra-angle to accomplish different purposes. For polishing teeth, a rubber cup or a prophy brush are most often used.
Dr. Abel Loredo
General Dentistry 38 years experience
Polishing teeth: A prophy head on a slow handpeice with pumis.
Dr. Max Arocha
Dentistry 19 years experience
Prophy cup: Common practice in a dental office during teeth cleaning is to use a prophy cup—a small motorized rubber cup—along with an abrasive polishing compound.
Dr. Candy Sebold
General Practice 42 years experience
Prophy cup: A rubber cup that spins on a slow speed hand piece with some polishing paste is what is usually used to polish teeth. That is a different procedure than scaling teeth to remove calculus that formed on teeth and roots.
Dr. Raj Upadya
Cosmetic Dentistry 25 years experience
Prophy cup/angle: The rubber prophy cup attached to a prophy angle with a pumice based prophy paste is most often used for the actual polishing of the teeth... Earlier in the visit, ultrasonic scalers and piezo electric scalers are often used to break up the biofilm, while various hand scalers are used to remove localized hard deposits. Prophy-jets can be used to remove tough stain buildup...
Dr. Alan Krause
39 years experience
Prophy Jet: Many offices use a prophy cup, but if you really want to remove stains a prohy jet is used which sprays baking soda and water under high pressure.Prophy.
Dr. Don Millner
Dentistry - Cosmetic 44 years experience
Prophy-jet too!: While typically a rubber cup and a pumice agent are used to polish teeth. Since 1978 some offices have been using a high velocity air streamed slurry of baking soda from a device often referred to as a prophy jet. This "air polishing" is able to remove stain hidden between the teeth where no pumice cup could ever reach. It's messy but i makes a major difference to tobacco users and coffee fans.
Last updated May 21, 2015
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.