Notes on the Different Types and Uses of Mouth Mirror
This instrument is used to reflect light onto the field of operation, to view the cavity indirectly, and to retract the cheek or tongue, as necessary. It consists of stainless steel handle with a round mirror which is angulated/straight to handle.
Types of mouth mirror
A. Based on material:
(i) Stainless steel
(ii) Plastic (Plastic mirrors are disposable).
B. Based on size:
No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 (most commonly used are no. 4 and no. 5)
C. Based on reflecting surface of the mirror:
(i) Flat (plane, regular) surface mirrors
They have reflective surfaces (silver coating) on the back of the glass. This gives the image- “a ghost image”; it reflects only once to give a clear view free of distortion.
They magnify the image.
(iii) Front surface mirrors
They have reflective coatings (rhodium) on top of the glass. This coating eliminates the “ghost image”; it reflects only once to give a clear view free of distortion.
D. One-sided, double-sided:
In double-sided mirror, one side is used to reflect the cheek or lips and the back side provides illumination. Concave mirrors provide enlarged view of the sight but may be misleading if the clinician is not well oriented with the amount of enlargement of view.
Uses of mouth Mirror
(i) For illumination
(ii) For retraction and protection of soft tissue
(iii) For percussion of tooth
(iv) To check tooth mobility
(v) For indirect vision.